Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting things done one thing at a time

It seems like I routinely post on Sunday here and then never get around to posting again until Wednesday. Not sure why because I usually have something to say or something going on -- maybe I just have had too much going on this month.

And with the first 3 weeks of March being an unpleasant blur as a result of the incident on the evening of March 1st, I am determined to exit the month of March with some significant accomplishments under my belt, and feeling pretty good about the future.

My list of projects is long but I'm trying really hard to knock out as many as possible.

The roofing estimates are done. I won't get the 3rd written estimate until tomorrow but they called today and gave me the official figure and it's $6,350. Again, far better than the absurd $11,000 quote from Home Depot, and only about $300 less than the first estimate we received Monday afternoon. Barring some amazing perk from estimator #3, I am inclined to go with #1 for about $6,600. The guy had good vibes, he seemed honest, thorough, professional, and helpful, and his company has been in business here since 1974. I can't ask for much more.

Aside from that, I want to tackle a bunch of nagging little projects. We had a glitch with our unemployment compensation. I tried logging in last week as I'm required to do every 2 weeks to request unemployment payments and I was told it had been more than 3 weeks since my last request and I'd have to call the office to file a "late request."

This presented a problem since I was unable to get through on the phone line for several days. I was getting a message: "due to excessive call volume we are unable to take your call."

I was seriously surprised that my request was 3 weeks (or more) late and since txrad got the same message when he tried to make an online request, we decided they must have had a computer glitch and that's why they had such heavy call volume.

I finally was able to get someone on the phone today and she was giving me the runaround about how I hadn't made a payment request in 4 weeks -- since mid-February and I know damn well that's not the case. Anyway, she reinstated my unemployment claim and I was able to log in and request payment for the past 4 weeks, and on Sunday I can log in again to request for the last 2 weeks of March. Ditto for txrad.
I certainly would have been pissed off if we lost several weeks of compensation right as we're about to have a roof replaced, and maybe windows.

Having got that chore out of the way, I'm moving on to some other ones. My vision has been getting worse and when I'm reading the weather page in the paper or the stock prices, I actually have to take my glasses off and hold the paper close to my eyes. Reading the rest of the paper isn't much better.

I scheduled an eye exam for today at 2:30 and was quite happy to get in the same day I called. txrad rode with me because I knew I'd need to have my eyes dilated since I haven't had an eye exam since 2001. I wanted to ask about bifocal contacts also, and as it turned out, I walked away wearing a temporary pair of bifocal contacts and did not have the pupil dilation procedure since that interferes with the contact lens trial run.

For those of you in the Austin area, I had the exam done by a doctor next door to the LensCrafters store at the Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave. I'm going to be on a budget with glasses this time around and while the exam wasn't cheap ($154 including the fitting for temporary contacts), I will get a 50% discount on lenses for glasses at LensCrafters thanks to a coupon I have. When you are getting bifocals, the lenses seem to be the main cost.

When txrad got his bifocals back in November (which he subsequently lost during his accident) the frames were $189 and the total cost with lenses ended up being over $500. Insurance paid for a bit more than half. We'll be having to order a replacement pair for him and this time he has no vision insurance. Fun!

Anyway, as I walked out of the doctor's office wearing contacts and having my glasses in my pocket, it felt strange. One of the few things I like about contacts is that things around you actually appear to be their normal size. I noticed that Tater Tot seemed extra large when I got home, and of course he is.

But I'm so used to seeing myself in glasses, I'm not sure I like my look without them. This was the better of two pictures I took. The other one made me look 10 years older while this one makes me only look about 50-ish. Maybe it's all in the pose.

I never realized just how much I look like my dad until I saw these pictures of me without glasses.

What's funny is that I went through a phase in my life where I ONLY wanted to wear contacts because I thought they made me look younger and more hip whereas glasses made me look like an uncool nerd. The fact is, I rather like glasses. I'm just not sure I'm going to like or adjust quickly to bifocals so I want to explore all the options. But I will be ordering glasses and I suspect I'll wear them most of the time.

I enjoy contacts on two occasions: when I'm out in drizzly weather (I hate having to wipe my glasses dry while going from the car into a store when it's not raining hard enough to justify toting an umbrella), and when I'm doing work in the yard in the summer months and I'm sweating. Sweat always gets on the lenses of my glasses while I'm wearing gloves and then I have to stop what I'm doing, remove the gloves and the glasses and wipe them off, and then it's still smeared.

So I will enjoy having a pair of contacts around the house. The "real" pair (as opposed to this temporary pair) will address all of my vision issues. These offer me pretty decent distance vision and pretty decent reading vision -- I can actually read the newspaper without having to position my glasses on the tip of my nose.

You may see typos in this post (I just fixed two of them now that I have removed my contacts and am wearing glasses again). I typed this post with my contacts in.

Anyhow, that's one less project on my to-do list. Tomorrow I can start to work on some of the other ones. And there are many. And there are 5 days left in this month. My goal is to get a lot of them done before April 1.

We shall see. No pun intended.

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