Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving is approaching and Karen and I will be visiting my parents and my sister and her husband this year. Our original plan was to drive because we are so very tired of flying. But I had some major knee mishaps this week and am now taking meds and walking with a cane so that's sort of not the best idea. Still, we don't want to fly so we ended up buying tickets for the train.

We will be taking the Northeast Regional to New York and then boarding the Crescent for the rest of the trip. This is the first long trip that both of us will be doing by train.

Getting information about what it's like to ride Amtrak has been both easy and difficult. The Amtrak web site is reasonable, but if you want actual passenger accounts you need to search around. I came across a video on YouTube of someone just walking through the train showing you what it's like to travel by train if you are most familiar with air travel. That was nice, but don't expect a lot of videos like that on YouTube. The vast majority of Amtrak videos on YouTube are by railfans, which are completely useless to people wanting information about what it's like to travel by train.

A short 21 hours later and we'll be at our destination. I imagine I'll have more or a followup posts and some pictures.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I-278 & I-287 Next To Each Other. Perfect!

Karen and I went to Manhattan over the weekend to visit Chris & Ryoko (Karen's brother and his wife) and their new little one. Our options to get there from Boston are numerous and while we like taking the train (awesome) or bus (slightly less awesome), we decided to drive.

The drivers on the Mass Pike and almost all the way through Connecticut were nuts on Saturday. We couldn't completely remember what to do after CT-15, so we just kept going in the general direction of southwest which we assumed would put us somewhere in the city.

BTW, the jack ass who decided it would be a good idea to put Interstates 287 and 278 next to each other, F you. Would it have been so hard to pick something other than '2' for the leading number on one of those bypass roads.

For future reference, Mass Pike west, I-84 towards Hartford, get on CT-15 as soon as possible (Berlin Turnpike if possible), take that until you get to the land of I-95, follow that until you see signs for I-278. Follow 278 in to the city and follow signs leading you to the Triborough RFK Bridge. Pay $6.50 to cross the bridge, take the FDR South, turn right at appropriate street. Done. Return trip directions courtesy of Haynes automotive manuals.

Parking for the weekend was $101. Taking Acela next time.

Friday, November 9, 2012

New Eyeglasses

In order to try to keep myself in the habit of making regular posts again, I'm even going to include the boring stuff.

So it's been a little over two years since my last eye exam and I was noticing that I've been squinting a lot. Having been an eyeglass wearer since I was in the 2nd grade, that usually means it's time to have a new eye exam.

And since my last exam was in Honolulu, it was time to find a new doctor of optometry.  Google points me to Brattle Square Optical. Sounds reasonable, so I make an appointment.

My appointment was on election day. After voting, I headed to Harvard Square to find this place. I realize it's the eye place I walk past whenever I'm headed in to Harvard Square. Just never remembered the name.

The first thing is the usual paperwork for a new patient. They start by having me look at new frames. They even help me. I really like this because I hate picking out frames. Also, the fact that they are having me do this before the eye exam makes so much sense. I've asked to do that at LensCrafters before and they really don't want to change their order of operations.

Frames selected, next up is the insurance check. No problems whatsoever. Again, my experience with LensCrafters in the past was met with all kinds of problems trying to use a VSP plan. Not at this place. They are finishing setting up the order and I go in for the eye exam.

I meet the doctor and he is very friendly and asks about my vision history and other sorts of stuff. We do the usual "number 1 or number 2" stuff and the eye chart, but I notice he does more during the exam. He also does a peripheral vision test to finish things out. The whole time he's explaining what's going on and making you feel comfortable.

The end result was a prescription and new glasses ordered. They arrive next Friday. Looking forward to frames that fit my head.

Brattle Square Optical: Recommended