Friday, April 30, 2010

Nobody puts Tony Stark in a Corner!

From Pepper Potts Diary:

I bet Iron Monger wasn't in steerage:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spectacles Update: The world isn't ending. Film at 11.

Remember just one week ago when I found myself on the verge of hysterical blindness? Well, I've lived with the new specs for a week now, and as many commenters assured me, everything is FINE. Crystal clear, perfect vision, no going back FINE.

Oh, there was a significant adjustment period. And an upgrade of the lenses. And travails with sunglasses. But 7 days later, I'm so happy I went through this, and would actually recommend it to anyone. Weird, huh?

The first few days were pure hell. I didn't know where to "look" to get things in focus. I realized how much I used my peripheral vision to absorb a lot of things around me without even bothering to move my head at all. (Can I now classify this as exercise? I think so!). Things drifted in and out of focus at virtually every distance. Then slowly but surely, I started to get the hang of it. And then I noticed how fucking clear everything became. My prescription is certainly not Mister Magoo (or "Time Enough at Last") strength, but it is so wonderful when there's a clarity present you don't remember having previously. The tiny text on my CrackBerry has never looked sharper. The computer screen is vivid. And HD TV just rocks. And while all these things were revelatory, and appreciated, I did have some frustrations.

If you know anything about progressive lenses, you know the term "channel." The "channel" is the part of the lens where the prescription(s) really is, and "progressively" blends from one strength to another. Outside the channel, there is no prescription all all. Where I went, there were three quality tiers of progressive lenses, each more expensive than the next. The primary difference is the width of the channel. I (originally) opted for the middle tier. After a few days, once I started to get the hang of it, I realized it was probably worth it to upgrade to the top tier. So I called the fine folks at Pearle back and ordered the lens upgrade, and they came in last night. Damn, what a difference. There are still the outer edges with no RX, but the channel is huge. (that's what he said). Now, with a minimum of effort and eyeball flitting, most everything I look at is perfectly in focus at all times. Part of it is training your eyes, of course, but for anyone going through this, I would highly recommend saying damn the cost, and just starting out with the top tier, and widest channel, right from the start. Believe me, it makes a huge difference.

As for shades, I've always had light sensitive eyes, and always worn sunglasses. When I first started wearing glasses, I realized I didn't want to carry around two pair at all times - regular specs and RX sunglasses. Where do you put them when you go inside or it gets dark? At one point, I didn't give a damn what I looked like, I seriously sought out a "Dwayne Wayne" solution with the flip ups for convenience. (I think they stopped making those sometime in the early 90s). So I've always worn the glasses that came with a fitted, polarized clip on. Much easier to stick in your pocket. However, this go round, almost every store I went to was getting out of the clip on business. And what few pairs they did have weren't very stylish or a good fit for my round, furry face. So I figured to squint a lot, or eventually break down and go to the effort and expense of a separate pair of RX sunglasses.

Then I found these guys.

I thought it seemed a little too good to be true, but figured hell, $50 and a money back guarantee? Why not give it a go?

Well, I got my custom pair of clips on Monday, and they fit like a glove. Unless you look really close, it appears I'm wearing Wayfarers. Because my frames are thicker, it's not quite as easy as it looks on the videos to put them on and take them off, but it's still pretty damned easy. Initially, I thought things were perfect - better than my (made to match and sold with the glasses) previous clips and almost 90% of the way to a separate pair. However, once I got out on a really sunny day, I noticed that there appeared to be big "clouds" in the vision on my right side, and that reflective surfaces (windshield glare, other cars, etc.) produced a weird effect. I had no idea what was causing this. Was it some strange reaction caused by the combination of progressive lenses and polarized clips? And if so, why were things getting all psychedelic on one side only? When I went to get the new, upgraded regular lenses popped in last night, I explained this strange phenomenon to the extraordinarily helpful folks at Pearle. It took about 30 seconds for them to figure it out. Polarization occurs on an axis, and my custom clips had been "cut" improperly. The left eye was horizontal, like it should be, but the right eye was vertical. This was causing all the bizarre distortion to my right side. I called the Clip On Guys this morning, and they apologized profusely, and told me that this happens probably "once in a million" times. (And yes, of fucking course, I'm the one millionth customer. Great luck, Schleprock). They're recutting them and sending me a new pair ASAP.

So, one week. One vision exam. One pair of frames. One hysterical freak out. Two pairs of progressive lenses. Two pairs of custom cut clip ons. But now I'm set, and I've never been happier. And it's like I'm seeing things in a whole new way.

Many thanks to those that commented, tweeted, texted and emailed with their own war stories and encouragement to "hang in there, it gets better!" There is light at the end of the tunnel, and it has been properly and perfectly refracted.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'll take potpourri for $7,000, Alex

It's been a while since the last potpourri roundup, hasn't it? Here are few items worth perusal:

Interesting observations about "when" Amy came from in the new Doctor Who (which is really fabulous, y'all, and very easy thus far for newbies who want to jump in).

Blunt and informative Q&A with Steven S. DeKnight (a Whedon alum, and producer of the increasingly entertaining Spartacus: Blood & Sand).

Ken Levine offers appreciation for an all-timer: Elizabeth Montgomery. (Much like the "Mary Anne or Ginger" debate, there was also a question of "Jeannie or Samantha." I was firmly behind Samantha Stevens. Wait, that didn't sound right. Wait, yes it did).

Mythbusters Adam Savage offers some brilliance. (Why doesn't everyone think this way?)

TV Credits that break the show's normal pattern.

Good list of the 25 Best Movie Remakes of All Time.

25 Awesome geeky t-shirts.

Choosing Battlestar Galactica over a boyfriend. (Hey Ladies: sometimes you don't have to choose. Thanks. The Editor).

More cool t-shirts. SHINY.

The importance of the FUCK YEAH moment.

I'd like to see this Rom-com.

"Lesbian Spank Inferno" makes you realize how wasted Jack Davenport is on FlashForward.

Great video essay on everyone's favorite Vulcan.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I think a chainsaw for a hand would be invaluable in the NFL trenches

Here's a screen capture from this morning's Pro Football Talk headlines:

Bruce Campbell not drafted? The Chin?

You're telling me that an NFL team couldn't use the wily, mojito-soaked support of Sam Axe? The laconic smarts, furious fists and upstanding heroics of Brisco County Jr.? The manic, never-say-die evil fighting of one Ash Williams?

Listen up, you primitive screwheads, you must draft Bruce Campbell.

What about the Broncos? After all, the first time little Timmy Tebow gathers the players for a prayer circle, wouldn't this make a perfect response:
"Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I've got news for you pal, you ain't leadin' but two things, right now: Jack and shit... and Jack left town."
Or when little Timmy loses his first game:
"That's it, go ahead and run. Run home and cry to mama!"
What about the Jets? Who can forget Joe Namath with Suzy Kolber? I think Bruce would have fared better:
"Gimmee some sugar, baby."
Or the Colts? Calling an audible at the line like Peyton Manning?
"Look, maybe I didn't say every single little tiny syllable, no. But basically I said them, yeah."
Or the Rams? As an offensive lineman, protecting Sam Bradford?
"Maybe. Just maybe my boys can protect the (QB). Yeah, and maybe I'm a Chinese jet pilot. "

C'mon, NFL GMs. Make the right decision:
"Alright. Who wants some?"

Maybe not the Raiders. Al Davis looks too much like a Deadite.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I just got progressive lenses and it's like a free and constant acid trip

Last week, I went to the optometrist to get my eyes checked and pick out some new frames for my specs. I have astigmatism, and it's fairly mild. Without glasses, I can still read a good portion of text at any distance, and there is only a slight "fuzz" or "distortion" around objects.

My last RX, about 5 years ago, was pretty straightforward:

In technical terms, Sphere: (L) plano (R) plano, Cylinder (L) -2.00 (R) 1.50, Axis (L) 095 (R) 090, Add: (nothing in either).

My new prescription:

Sphere: (L) plano (R) -0.25, Cylinder (L) -2.75 (R) 1.75, Axis (L) 090 (R) 099, Add: +1.75 (both)

The big difference is that my old lenses were single vision. Just one "view" and everything looked the same, no matter which way I tilted my head or pointed my eyes. Everything through the glasses, even when viewed with peripheral vision, looked the same. It was pretty clear, and I wasn't sure I even needed that big of an adjustment on the RX. (I went mostly for the regular check up, and for the frames). If you look at the numbers, really, the major difference is that my left eye had gotten worse, and the addition of the "add" enhancement for near reading in the new RX.

So I go pick up my new specs today, and they look fabulous. Different style of frame for me, more comfortable, and I really like them.

Then I put them on.

Holy shit.

I felt like I just came off a weekend in Vegas with Hunter S. Thompson and went straight into a 5 day bender with the characters from Trainspotting. I've had acid trips that were more lucid and focused.

Yes, when I position my head properly, and look through the "proper" part of the lens, things seem clear and focused. More than with my previous lens and RX? Debatable. However, look the wrong way, or try to use my peripheral vision and things become muddled and disorienting. My first reaction is DO. NOT. WANT.

The folks at the vision center (and much of the online reading I've been doing about progressive lenses) say that it takes a good 3 or 4 days to completely adjust, and once you do, you will absolutely love the progressive lenses and wonder how you ever lived without them. Right now? I'm tempted to gouge my eyes out with a steak skewer and develop my other senses like Matt Murdock.

Whatever limitations there might have been with my previous RX and lenses, I didn't notice a lack of clarity and I was certainly used to -- and now massively appreciative of -- a consistency of image, no matter what my eyes or head might be doing.

I think I'll give them until Monday before deciding to go back and see what else can be done. (Different progressive lenses? Check the RX again? Pick a "best overall case" for single vision lens? Don't know).

Has anyone else who wears glasses been through this transition? Anyone else wear progressives? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Am I overreacting? Should I just enjoy the hangover free trip, dude?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I think I'm over it

You may have noticed that I didn't do a recap / evaluation of the last couple of Idol episodes like I usually do. Yes, real life has been intruding a bit, and yes, the Tuesday TV pile up has been punishing. But you know what? I think I'm just "over" the show.

It's hard to pinpoint a single reason. The contestants have been underwhelming. (The only ones I've looked forward to are Bowersox, Lee and Siobahn, and even Siobahn has struggled the last few weeks, all while continuing to do tragic things to her normally adorable hair on performance nights). Seacrest seems to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and his only discernible skill - moving the show along with affability and bland competence -- is nowhere to be found lately. (Taking shots at Dunkelman? Dude. That's like the Yankees complaining about the Pirates payroll). Four judges still take up too much time. Ellen is pleasant, and occasionally witty, but really adds nothing. Randy is useless as ever. Simon seems to have checked out. And Cthulu help me, Kara is the only one offering somewhat cogent advice. The song selections are uninspired. The theme nights are too broad (#1 hits from anytime? Really?) or too familiar. The direction and pacing of the show is as incomprehensibly incompetent as usual.

Plus, with the self-indulgently saccharine "Gives Back" special coming up, coupled with a dreary "songs of inspiration" theme on the horizon, now is as good a time as any for me to stop caring.

I've long been on a jihad against "reality" programming, making only the occasional exception (for Idol, obviously, but also for shows like Mythbusters and Sci-Fi Science. Do those latter two really count as "reality?"). While Idol is still light years above intelligence-insulting shitstains like anything involving a Kardashian, a "Housewife" or a "Guido," I think I'm finally at a point where I can let my active interest disengage, and just check in occasionally (providing my three favorites continue on the show).

Anyone else losing interest?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Congrats, Lefty

Very nice win for Phil Mickelson at The Masters. It's always a pleasing experience when your favorite golfer wins your favorite tournament.

As Phil sank that last putt (for birdie!) and the coronation began, a few things came to mind:

Phil could have gone even lower in his final round. He was in position to eagle both 13 and 15. On the other hand, we've also seen him melt down when he'd miss putts like those, so good for him to keep his shit together and still pick up a stroke each time despite the disappointment of not dropping in those eagles.

He spared himself another round of ribbing about his vertical leap by not even attempting to jump when he closed out the round for the win.

I have a natural gag reflex when it comes to sports schmaltz and the broadcast team dropping anvils about a heartwarming personal story, yet it was still a little endearing to see Amy Mickelson there at the 18th. Their hug was obviously heartfelt and moving. And I don't suspect a conspiracy theory or anything, but I'm sure CBS, and particularly the folks at Augusta National, were only too happy to let the cameras linger on that shot a good long while, if only to compare and contrast with what could have happened, if someone else had won the tournament. Say, someone else with a wife who wouldn't have been so generous with a hug, since her husband likes to choke strippers and "fuck that ass he owns" and bang a breakfast restaurant waitress in a car in the parking lot where he just disposed of her used tampon. (And probably just left a 10% tip). Something tells me Billy Payne would have had a Costco-sized jug of Purell in the Butler cabin preparing for that handshake.

But enough about what could have been. Let's just celebrate what DID happen. So, Congrats, Lefty. Make room in the closet for another Green Jacket.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Greatest Hits


Playing around with Google Analytics, I've noticed a big traffic spike and influx of new readers over the past couple of months. Those of you checking out TNRLM for the first time probably haven't dug around in the archives that much. And for a variety of reasons, the posting lately hasn't been as prolific as it was in days past. So to save you the hassle of wandering around through over 1,000 posts, here's a quick list of the blog's "greatest hits." These are pulled from Analytics (for the most part), and as you might imagine, posts with the highest traffic are generally those that have been linked elsewhere (probably on UGA or TV focused sites). I don't know that these are necessarily the most interesting or well-composed pieces per se, but there are a wide range of subjects covered, so enjoy:

Just how bad was the 2009 UGA defense historically, when compared to D units from years past?

Hurley from Lost wearing a Dawgs sweatshirt.

Plot developments on V and FlashForward in handy chart form

My ratings for every episode and season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Here's another post on the same subject, with a link to the entire spreadsheet of episode detail.

Thoughts on the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, "Daybreak." (Spoilers, of course, if you haven't seen it).

From the end of last year, my contest asking you to identify my favorite TV characters of 2009.

Tully on the short-lived TV show Drive had the same car that I did as a teenager!

My Emmy Wishlist for last year in the major categories. (Notes: that link is to a master page that will take you to the individual category analysis. Also, when I reformatted the blog recently, some of the historic pages now look like crap).

My rant about the fake baby on Glee. (Whew. So glad we're past that one now).

Link to a roundup of posts with the label "The Canon." (That's were I list and rank things. Who doesn't love lists?)

My take on VH-1's Greatest Songs of the 90s.

In honor Valentine's Day, I put together a list of my Top 10 Childhood Crushes.

My favorite REM songs.

A rare political post.

OCD DVD organization.

Memories of the UGA / Auburn "Hose Bowl"

43 Random Things About Me

Thoughts on Time's 100 Best TV Shows of All Time