Archive for November, 2006

Eyeglasses Stores are for Suckers

November 10, 2006

WE’VE MOVED! This post, the conversation, and research have shifted to Join us for in-depth recommendations and horror stories. It seems that quite a few people are looking for alternatives to over-priced eyewear.


I’ve stepped into my last eyeglasses store. I’ve been wearing glasses since junior high, and the prices have gotten outrageous. The last pair I bought at LensCrafters, in 2004, set me back about $300 and never fit properly — even after multiple trips back. They broke the last week of October. Snap!

I’ve had my eye on, and nearly purchased a pair of Silhouettes a few months back. They were the titanium hingeless variety. I priced them out at a couple of stores and with AR (anti-reflective) lenses with scratch-resistant coating, I was looking at about $500. I don’t claim to be the smartest guy in the room very often, but no way in hell was I going to buy into that.

The best deal I could find in a store for a pair (in a non-welfare frame) approached $270 — without AR lenses. That would not do either. There had to be a better alternative. I decided I was going to find the Silhouettes online. I already knew what I wanted and they’d have to be much less online. I googled — and found them — for $410ish. Not good enough. I went back to my search results. You know how google has the ads on the right side (of course you do)? I ignore them almost all the time. For some reason (my empty wallet?) I decided to click a link to Zenni Optical (a.k.a., and I kid you not —

Zenni had a couple of titanium, hingeless frames. I priced them out. I decked them out with AR coating ($4.95 compared to $50+ in the stores), a clip-on sunshade ($3.95 versus $70 in the store) and went to the optional higher-index (thinner) lenses. Total?

Read the rest of this entry »


November 7, 2006

The Vote

November 7, 2006

I’ll be hopping in my car in six hours to go cast my ballot. I just watched the HBO/Black Box Voting production of “Hacking Democracy” — it’s worth a view. Thanks to Diebold, I have no idea if my vote will count. It’s sad and amazingly frustrating.

Go to for the latest polling information. As of right now, it’s a tossup in the Senate (50 Dem, 49 GOP, 1 tie). The House should be heavily blue (polling 239 -196 Dems). If the Dems get the house, they can handcuff the White House quite nicely. If the House is still Republican-led after tomorrow, it’s time to burn this place to the ground — there will be no more democracy here.

For more information and what you can do — see