Saturday, April 28, 2012

When Free Really Means...


I decided about one year ago that when I needed to renew my driver's license I would break down and get real glasses.  The last time I saw an eye doctor, about 15 years ago, he said I could manage well with over-the-counter readers.  And I did.  Except for the last year or so my readers have become permanently attached to my awake face and I've bought new glasses just for reading.  This becomes extremely annoying for someone like me who likes to read and watch television at the same time.  When I read during ads I have to switch glasses.  Back and forth, back and forth.  How many times are there ad segments during a one hour show?

Well anyway, you get the idea.

I knew it was time for............

Bifocals.  Yep, finally.  So, my health insurance member's booklet says that if I go to one of 'their' places, my exam is free, my lenses are free, and if I pick from the correct frame group, the frames are free!  What's there to argue about with that!

I finally set up an appointment.  Mom and A went along because they wanted to help me pick the frames.  The exam was kinda fun and the doc was pretty nice.  She made some recommendations about lens types and commented that my two 'readers' were correct for magnification (no surprise).  She wrote the 'script' and sent me on to the frame folks.

That's where I got the bad news.  Free isn't really free.  You see, the wording in the member's booklet was correct BUT... the UV coating that ALL the lenses have is actually an extra, not covered charge.  The same with BETTER, HARDER scratch resistant coating.  Then, of course, they recommended the damage warranty (add $29.99) covering one year.  Oh, and that free frame selection?  Well, the insurance covers up to $80, so if I happened to like one of those half dozen they'd be free.  Otherwise..............

Amazingly, I chose frames that were only $79.99.  I didn't look any further than the grouping that seemed to range in price from $79.99 - $169.99.  I set a top limit of $99.99 and still liked the lesser priced ones the best.  The main thing was that they fit.  Very well.  And didn't look weird on me.  Here's a picture from the store's online site.  The site says these are THE frames.  Close enough, although these look brown and mine are black.
Image from LensCrafter web site

Oh yeah, they advertise glasses in about an hour.  For me?  Of course not...special order.  I've got to wait about 10 days.  They'll call.


On to another subject.

We started some veggie seeds about a month ago.  I start them under a grow light and transplant the seedlings mid-May.  The seedlings pictured below were started in special veggie starter soil.  They didn't like it so I transplanted into good potting soil.  Most of them perked up a bit, but several aren't happy.  The green beans died a slow and pitiful death.
The first batch - a couple cukes, a couple pumpkins and a few tomatoes have survived

On the other hand (and just in case the first, unhappy batch withered and died), I planted more seeds (in potting soil) shown in the picture below.  These are under the grow light and from the time I took this picture yesterday to today they have grown leaps and bounds.  Really.  The bean plants (bottom right) are about 4 inches tall now and the cukes and tomatoes aren't far behind!  They look so much healthier than batch one.
The second batch are all now over 3 inches tall!

We're hoping for a good crop of tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans.  And maybe a couple pumpkins for fun.


Annette said...

Oh deb, I know what you mean about so called free glasses, well, they are but that all, any other thing you have done to them you have to pay fro.
I tried bifocals but hated them, so I now have two pairs which can be annoying when keep switching over form normal glasses to reading ones.
Still, you do get used to them.

Bernard said...

Hi Deb. It's not only in your neck of the woods, it's the same here. "Free this", Free that". When was anything free?
I do get a free eye test because I am over 65. And here, you can then walk away and find another (and cheaper) supplier of the frames and lens. Here we also have 'on-line' spec. suppliers. You send your details and the specs (hopefully) come back by return. I have also just discovered a web site that claims to fit your new lenses into your old frames!
Mmmmm, I'm not sure.
Anyway, good luck with your seeds. Seed compost should be devoid of too much 'goodness' as it makes the seedlings grow 'leggy'. They really just need water as the seed itself provides nutrients. At school we used to germinate bean seeds just on wet blotting paper. :)
I'm just planting beetroot.

deb said...

Well, sure beats the full cost!

Bernard, last year the seeds sprouted quite nicely in potting soil. I shouldn't have tried something new this year!