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One of those weeks/random thoughts/much etcetera

It’s been one of those weeks. You know the kind. Nothing really terrible is happening, but the petty annoyances and small setbacks threaten to overwhelm all productivity.

It started with Amazon’s sudden imposition of stupid security on vendor accounts, then went from there in a bruising week of itty-bitty pokes by Jokester Fate.

I found a solution for the Amazon stupidity (thank you, parabarbarian), but getting it implemented involved hours of additional stupid. And so the days went, with my writer’s to-do list getting longer and my patience shortening by the hour.

Yesterday I woke up to a tank-rental bill from my propane supplier that was three times what I expected and I went to bed with my favorite-ever pair of glasses (with skulls on the frames!) having just snapped irreparably for no discernable reason.

Of course I have backup glasses. I even knew where I’d put them. I told the propane company where they could put their tank, too. No big deals. Just things that have to be dealt with while creativity sits on the sidelines.


At the same time Friends of the Blog have delivered spectacular consolations. So giant thanks to G. and D. for so boldly counteracting the snidely efforts of Loki, Coyote, and Murphy.


Now, before I wander off to see if I can find (and afford) a new frame for those now-homeless lenses, have some links:

  • The other reformation that Martin Luther also helped along — a reformation in beer brewing. Which you’ll be charmed to note was also a tax revolt.
  • With Kevin Spacey having entered the ranks of disgraced Hollywoodians, Netflix has halted production on the sixth and final season of the greatest-ever series for political junkies, House of Cards. I’m sorry, Netflix, but putting hundreds of people out of work because one star quite predictably turns out to be the kind of jerk he plays in the show doesn’t make sense.
  • Heartwarming in the best possible way: “I’m a man with Down syndrome and my life is worth living.” A good counter to the modern eugenicists who want to eliminate such people.
  • I suppose this also qualifies as good news in this day when corrupt, thuggish cops habitually get away with anything. Those two NYPD detectives who claimed consensual sex with a teenager who was handcuffed and isolated in the back of their vehicle have had the book thrown at them.
  • Now, have some adorable four-legged criminals

… while I go off and see about finding new frames to fit my lenses. Alas, the fabulous skull frames are no longer made. Which I tell you breaks my heart. But I’ll get over it.

In fact, today’s one of those pleasant days. Damp. But soft. Not cold. Not brutally windy. Not raining or hailing hammers. I took Ava for an extra-long walk and ran into (for this area) a giant mob of four other people on the town’s little hiking path.

And not one of us got run over by a pickup truck. Not one driven by an Islamist jihadi. And certainly not one driven by a Republican politician.


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran November 1, 2017 11:38 am

    Yesterday I woke up to a tank-rental bill from my propane supplier that was three times what I expected

    Wow, this most certainly sucks! I’m sorry this happened to you, Claire!

    I’ve had the same sort of thing happen from the gas and electric supplier for the Rochester area. Somehow, the meter for my townhouse malfunctioned and I was short-charged for my bills, something that wasn’t my fault and I didn’t realize that this was happening. When they finally realized it, they not only replaced the meter and also charged me for their mess up by “estimating” what I should have really been charged and applying it all in one bill without any prior notice! It was over $700 plus my regular monthly bill! I despise the gas and electric company!!!

  2. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2017 12:27 pm

    $700? Ouch, RV. Super ouch. In my case the triple fee was “only” $160. And because I hadn’t been buying enough propane, they were fully within their rights to do it. It was how they did it (without notice, without explanation, and deliberately in a way that manipulated me into calling them to hear their alternative offers) that prompted me to tell them to take their tank away. Oh well.

  3. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2017 12:31 pm

    So much for the glasses, too. I hit the local optometrist’s office and they had no frames that would fit my homeless lenses. Just as well because with a handful of exceptions, all their frames cost between $240 and $370. Which is ridiculous for a few scraps of unattractive metal or plastic. I knew frame prices had gotten up there, but that’s pure ripoff.

    I got the skull glasses online, with cool frames, progressive lenses, photogray, and a kit of supplies for less than that. Unfortunately, that won’t work for what I need to do now. I’ll check out Walmart in the Big City and if they can’t do the job I’ll drag out the old prescription and buy a new pair online. One of these days.

  4. deLaune
    deLaune November 1, 2017 1:39 pm

    Putting old lenses into new frames is very difficult. Most labs will refuse to do it.
    And, as you have discovered, frames are now fashion accessories, with “fashion” prices.

    Since I’m in the business, I “only” pay about $300 for spectacles with all the trimmings (Trivex plastic, progressive, AR coating, scratch resistant coating, titanium frames). Regular customers would have to fork over more than $800 for the same thing. Ridiculous.

    If I didn’t get such a huge discount, I’d buy my glasses online.

  5. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2017 2:01 pm

    Yowz. Lucky you. Any discount for (wink, wink, nod, nod) “family members”?

    JK. Even if I didn’t know this was something that had to be done in person, I wouldn’t ask. But you’d think that surely not every glasses frame would be trying to pass as high fashion. Let there be high fashion glasses for those who crave that sort of thing, and something else for the rest of us.

    The weird thing is that most of the high fashion glasses are still ugly as Hillary’s back end (or her front end, for that matter). And the few cheap frames around are often more attractive.

  6. RW
    RW November 1, 2017 2:16 pm

    Another Amazon problem;
    I bought the basic generator then bought 2 more to send to relatives that were in the TX hurricane, flooded and had to rebuild a lot of the house, they are amazed and happy how effective they are for odors and mold. Another example of an unethical giant screwing good small business people just because they can.

    Hope this isn’t a double, didn’t look like the first worked.

  7. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2017 3:15 pm

    Alas, not a bit like that, MP. Mine were black metal and from the front just looked like aviator glasses. Each temple piece had a row of matte silver raised decorations — skulls, though you had to get very close to realize that.

    They were designed by Ed Hardy (Don Ed Hardy), the tattoo artist. Or at least they were part of his line of goods. And they were extremely cool because they were both outlaw and so subtle that nobody would easily realize they were. I got them only a couple of years ago, but I’m not even sure the Ed Hardy eyeglasses line is still in business. Sunglasses, yes, with bright, obvious tattoo designs on the temple pieces. But I’m really, really, really going to miss these.

  8. Claire
    Claire November 1, 2017 3:16 pm

    I hear ya, Kent. Can those 18th-century replica specs really hold modern prescription lenses?

  9. Shel
    Shel November 2, 2017 3:11 am

    Some have skulls, but they seem to be rimless, which I’m guessing isn’t what you want.

    Searching for “Don Ed Hardy Eyeglasses” also turned up

    He’s definitely still out there. I confess to not being attracted to tattoos.

  10. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty November 2, 2017 4:06 am

    I can’t imagine paying that much for glasses. And I’ve re-used frames for many years, though they do wear out. My last pair, including the new exam, frame and coated lenses, cost me less than $300. And the frames are quite nice looking too. I looked at a few on-line vendors and the prices were not that much less. Buying locally, I can take them in if I have problems or they break (never have so far), and support my local business too.

    But I didn’t notice any frames there with skulls on them. 🙂 Good luck, Claire.

  11. Claire
    Claire November 2, 2017 5:28 am

    Thanks, Shel. Yeah, none of those would fit my homeless lenses — but some of them are still pretty cool.

    You had better luck on eBay than I did. I also found Ed Hardy on several online eyewear shoppes, but as with the one you found they all had either zero product in stock or had a few pairs that didn’t do the job.

    Oh, and I agree on tattoos. Some tattoos on some people, okay. But I have a feeling there are millions of trend-following young men and women who are going to regret their ink someday.

  12. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas November 2, 2017 7:17 am

    Of course, great, if those two cop-rapists are fired (maybe, eventually) and convicted. But fifty or so charges between them (I forget the number already) is ridiculous. Once any prosecutor has targeted someone these days, pretty much none of us stands much of a chance.

    And re that flapping flag truck, looks to me as if no matter how obvious, almost no one notices that the underlying program must run something along the lines of “fight among yourselves while we heard you all into yet stricter captivity.”

  13. Shel
    Shel November 2, 2017 7:38 am

    My theory on tattoos is that influences are so homogenized now that young people are almost desperate for some way to distinguish themselves from the nameless masses. I remember reading a statement, can’t remember by whom, where a woman said choosing a tattoo is like choosing a husband. You should give it a lot of thought before deciding it’s something you want on your body for the rest of your life.

  14. Comrade X
    Comrade X November 2, 2017 1:49 pm

    The ad on The Ultimate Answer to Kings website shows the people running that ad are the people promoting hate in this country IMHO.

    I liked the license plate btw too!

  15. Bob
    Bob November 2, 2017 5:07 pm

    When I was young, only military guys and circus woman had tattoos. Now, nearly everyone has at least one.

  16. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal December 1, 2017 8:38 am

    Claire- Yes, the replica frames hold my modern (and very strong) prescription lenses.
    (WordPress has stopped notifying me of new comments on any posts, so I missed your question until now.)

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