Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Obsequious optics and other illusions

Technology never ceases with its constant daily barrage of hilarity and delight. 

In the hilarity category, there was the story today about the Houston realtor who forgot to tell the client to put the toys away before taking sale pics of the condo.  The result was, as they say, stimulating, and it is now immortalized for all e-time on blogs everywhere!

In the delight category, one of my buddies hooked me up with a website called Zenni Optical through which one can buy cheap prescription eyeglasses.   With top-of-the-line specs now approaching a thousand dollars a pair (!!!!!!!!) for us "special eye-needs" folks, we need some lower-end fall-back pairs so that we don't have to endanger the daily-wears during our more dastardly duties (say THAT three times fast).

But can one really make a proper choice of eyeglasses, even cheapies, on the internet? 

You might be surprised at how far this technology has come.  Here's how it works: 

First, you take your current mugshot, front-on direct, straight across and level, like I did here by holding the camera at arms length.
Yeah, I know.  If ever I start taking myself too seriously, all I have to do is look in the mirror at that nappy hair and all hints of superiority complex promptly evaporate. 
When God was passing out hair,
I don't know where the hell I was. 
Probably out collecting rocks.
To make things even more ridiculous,
the brows remained reddish
when the hair turned gray.
 And then you upload it to the site.  It's more precise than I expected - you actually have to input your "PD" (no, not VD) - the distance between your pupils, which is given on your prescription.

And then once the photo and the PD are input, you start "trying on".  Bear in mind as you look at these grabs below that the fits as shown are EXTREMELY accurate.  My eyes are desperately bad and on top of that my face is very narrow and hard to fit.  I've tried on hundreds and hundreds of frames in my lifetime and I can tell instantly how something should fit, just by looking at it on the shelf.  And these are accurate.
I'm partial to the classic, understated look, although I prefer more of an arc in the bridge (it's a more artistic continuation of a wide-open eyes effect).  But traditional stuff like this is by no means the only choice...
Trendier wires?? 
Nah - they look too severe to me,
pinching down toward the nose.
Silicon Valley, anyone?? 
Nah - they make me look droopy.
I'm heading for the half-century mark here!!!
I don't need to look one tiny bit droopier
than I already am!!

The eighties called,
and they want their glasses back.

Harry Potter called,
and he said he can't believe that people
actually buy crap like this!!!

When I saw this, I almost ran SCREAMING INTO THE STREETS!!!  Break out the Photoshop and add a bit of brown back into the hair and a bit of plump back into the cheeks, and this IS me... THIRTY YEARS AGO!!!  I can't believe they actually still sell glasses that look like this!!
I don't care how much I pay (Too much, the Magic Bus)!
I wanna drive my bus to my baby each day (Too much, the Magic Bus)!
Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus!
Magic Bus, Magic Bus, Magic Bus!
One of my opticians (I have several!) told me NEVER to buy brown tints.  She said they allow too much yellow wavelength to the brain, and it causes headaches.  I was dumbfounded - I own a very expensive pair of Serengeti sunglasses, tinted brown.  I can't wear the things.  My head splits every time I try.  I had no idea that might be the reason.
Star Trek called, and they want their Borg hardware back... but wait:
This might actually work, for sports and whatnot.  This ridiculous thing ACTUALLY FITS - the inner lenses are the right sizes for my eyes (remember, I had to upload my pupil distance to the nearest millimeter).  I would NEVER have considered trying on something like this if I had seen it in a store.  But fooling around with an internet program, I find it worth considering.
"Well, Your Honor, I was walking between two parallel sets of tracks when suddenly the damnedest thing happened - two trains started coming at me from opposite directions!!  I squeezed myself up as skinny as I could as they whizzed by me, and I think I came out of it all right!!"
But none of that free entertainment above can compete with the joy imparted by the look on my daughter's face when I picked her up from school today.  She thinks I look like a complete beauty queen when I wear contacts (a rare event - I can't tolerate 'em).  There's no accounting for taste, but I'm willing to do just about anything to see that sparkle appear in her eyes!
For the first time
in the history of the known universe,
a pic where SHE is the one in specs,
and I am not!

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