This Or This? Time For New Glasses

I looked at the price. Why do frames cost so much? Seriously, is there any relationship between manufacturing cost and retail price?

lots of eyeglass frames.jpgMy eyeglasses are a few years old. Earlier this winter I noticed a small chunk had been chipped from one of the lenses. Though it’s out of my sight line the writing’s on the wall. I need new glasses.

We headed to a local mall where the optical center has a doctor I’d seen before and trusted. That’s how I found out the eyeglass business is busier early in the year when many people discover insurance coverage has kicked in.

They were running behind. We took a walk.

There’s nothing at the mall for guys. Right?

There must have been a dozen cellphone businesses. Each of the major carrier had a kiosk or two plus a full walk-in store. All were busy.

“Complaints, not purchases,” I told Helaine.

The examination was pretty straightforward. As Mary, the optometrist, flipped the lenses there was actually a difference between “A” and “B ” OK–there was most of the time… enough of the time I was pretty sure she got my prescription right.

My prescription has remained reasonably constant the past few years. No cataracts. No signs of glaucoma. That’s all good news.

Better than that my eyes are corrected to 20/15, meaning I see at 20 feet what most people see at 15 feet.

“Get plastic frames,” Stef had advised via phone when I told her what we were doing today.

Plastic frames? I don’t think so. I can’t come back on TV with a jarring (radically different) look.

I began trying on frames as Helaine watched. I was pretty useless here. Seriously, when you’re trying new frames you must take off your glasses! How exactly can you judge?

We finally settled on frames that look very much like my old ones. I pulled out my iPhone and sent Stef a photo via SMS.

She did not approve. Unavoidable. Not unexpected. Hopefully she’ll forgive my fashion fears over time.

Then there’s the price.

Why do frames cost so much? Seriously, is there any relationship between manufacturing cost and retail price?

In a few weeks the new glasses will arrive along with a tester set of contact lenses. I’ve tried contacts before. You don’t want to know! I was not a good candidate. I’m trying again anyway.

I’m More Pessimistic About Hurricanes

Recently I was interviewed for an article in Business New Haven concerning hurricanes. I’ve linked to the text.

Over time I’ve become more pessimistic of what might happen in a repeat of the hurricane of ’38 scenario for Connecticut. There would be little time for warning and difficulty explaining where the damage might occur.

Even in 2005, a tragedy seems unavoidable. That’s not what I want to say, but it is a realistic expectation.

I’m glad to see, though Dr. Mel Goldstein and I were interviewed separately (I didn’t even know he had been interviewed), we are in agreement with our concern.

Unlike Katrina where good advice was ignored, I’m not sure what we could do today to help prepare us for a hurricane approaching us at 60 mph. The entire East Coast would need warning. What good would that do?

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Managed Care Hell

I take Lipitor for my cholesterol. Since I have been taking it (and before Lipitor, Baycol) I have had to have a blood test every six months or so. It seems these good drugs can also ruin your liver.

For the longest time I have gone to a small lab which is on my way to work. The people there are nice. They know I am petrified. They try to be gentle.

You would think after years of being stabbed and having a small vial or two of blood drawn, I’d be used to it. I am not.

Within the past year or so, our insurance coverage vis-a-vis the labs has changed. Now I have to go elsewhere if I want any coverage – and even the coverage I have doesn’t kick in until I’ve spent $250 in a year.

But where to go?

I couldn’t find the providers on the insurance company’s website, so I called and was walked through by their customer service person. Voil