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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas and a bit, 2015

I want to start this story a few days back, on Wednesday (aka Christmas Eve Eve).  I had decided it was past time to get my eyes looked at again.  Rather than opting for the convenience of the nearby Wal-Mart, I went to the bit-further-away Longe Optical, because my company has a bunch of deals with them.  Before I get into the story, I want to point out that these guys are great, they did me right, and Dr Amy Reidhaar was tremendous.  That said, everything that could go wrong...

So this is like the second time I've been to their location on North Anthony, and it sneaks up fast on you.  Not exactly remembering exactly where it was, I turned in about 3 businesses too soon.  Spotting my quarry from the lot, I managed to sneak around behind two of the businesses, but still ended up a business away.  Hoping that they wouldn't have me towed during the "short time" I was to be there, I walked across the lot and to my destination.

The Doc was running behind, and it was 15 minutes before the one lady (there were two ladies, the manager Remy, and the Doc there) took me in to do the pre-exam.  First thing different I noticed about Longe was that the "puff test" was three shots in each eye rather than one, and the puffer was about twice as powerful.  Coming back out, we began to discuss the company deal, which among other things included getting work glasses basically gratis.  When she asked me if I had the work deal form, I reached my first "oh, crap."  No problem, we'll just call work.  (Second aw crap- is there anybody even there?)  But the big boss was there, and he'd be happy to fill out what we needed if he could get them to send him the form.  Oh craps #s 3 and 4:  They told him he could fax them the filled out form- and we don't have a working fax machine.  Then, they decided to e-mail him the form- but they didn't have an e-form at that location.  So, my lady (Ruth-Ann) called the other store, had them e-mail the e-form to my work so he could fill it out and send it to MY location.

Then the exam came, and it was well done.  She asked more questions, gave more info, and actually sent her findings to my family doctor, which WM never did.  Of course, the first two health things she had to ask about (high blood pressure and diabetes) I had to check the "yes" box on, which added a couple more wrinkles that the WM Doc never talked about.  Then came the dilation drops, and the "we have to wait ten minutes for them to kick in" time.  Shouldn't have worried about that;  my adventure wasn't over by half.

Because once she got the form from work, I gave her my insurance card and the real fun started.  See, our insurance (days away from being "our old insurance") contracts out the vision to another carrier.  The card we get from the insurance doesn't have the vision info on it, and the vision contractor doesn't send out a card.  So first, she found that she had to guess off the contractor- which there were only two choices, and she guessed right the first time.  But she gave them the ID # on the insurance card, which isn't the same and we didn't know that, so they couldn't find me.  So she called the hospital system (after trying the other carrier to no effect) and they sent her back to the guys she tried first,  Deducing that the ID# wasn't the same, she asked the guy there to see if he could find a Christopher Martin with my birthdate.  Two minutes of searching finally brought us to a winner, but by then other things were happening as well:

The other two people went to lunch;
customers began dribbling in in ever increasing numbers;
I had to go pick a pair of frames;
not once, not twice, but three times the Doc came out to give me some info she had forgotten, most important of which (aka the one I actually remember) is that, being diagnosed diabetic, I should get my eyes checked once a year rather than every couple.  Yay.

So then Ruth Ann has everything dialed in on insurance, which still leaves us three things to do.  One was to record where the progressive in my lenses needed to start- which rather than the eyeball a crayon mark method at WM, they actually have a frame gizmo and a laser camera that gives a more precise reading.  Second, she had to explain to me who had to pay for what, the company discounts she was applying, and the rebate on the eye exam I would have to mail in.  And third, she had to feed it all into her computer in order to bill me, all the while greeting the slowly growing list of customers, answer phones (mainly from some guy who wanted an appointment THAT DAY, and had to think about it and call back when told the best they could do was the next morning).  Most of which went smoothly- until she got to number three.  Apparently, once she got the info all in, it should have automatically calculated all the discounts- and did until she would hit the bill button, at which point it would develop amnesia about the company discount on the work glasses.  Eventually she got it force-fed into the computer, so what would have cost me about 2/3 of Bob's new transmission only cost me about half a week's paycheck- which is good, 'cause that's about all I'll be getting this time around!


Christmas Eve was a walk to Shoaff park and around the great circle (about 2 hours walk all told), a trip to the store (where I found my BP had went down 40 points from the day before- go figure), a bunch of episodes of Doctor Who, NCIS, and Broadchurch, and a tweeking of the Christmas decorations:


And that brings us to Christmas 2015.

Here's KC opening gift #1...

"What is it, what is it?"

"Wow, cool, KC!"

The grand gift- and grand project for the day- an exercycle for Laurie.
Then Scrappy got the first of his gifts:

Then, for me- a tube?  Could it be?

Yes!  Van Gough's Pandoricum!

"Car air fresheners..."

"...what are you saying, Laurie?"

"Ah, much better!"
Laurie gets a cool CSI:NY shirt...

Boofus gets more treats...

Dad gets a new sign to inflict on the wall...

And just the thing for any Martin- a beer-making kit!

"God I hate packing tape!"
These are great mugs- nice thick glass, metal-embossed logos, perfect for home brew!

Daddy gets the present that Scrappy wanted- Henry the farting Hippo!

Room humidifier- desperately needed in our room.

Laurie wins best wrapped package...

Inside an also desperately needed pan and skillet set!

"No, not like that!!!"
Scrappy:  "Hey, watch the elbow!"

Yeesh, you'd think they'd remember I'm right there...

A second baby for the Boofus!

Mounted on the main room bulkhead
And the Pandoricum at the doorway.

KC and Laurie build the bike- what fun THAT was!

Later, chef KC makes his tater tot casserole...

"Good stuff, Maynard!"

And where did the dvd of the one true True Grit com from?

Why, from Shenan, who stopped by almost by surprise (except for the "are you off work tomorroe" messages we got from her 10 PM Christmas Eve night...)

Scrappy and Henry... finally at peace.


  1. Great stuff, Chris! I'm sorry you had to go through all those hassles having your eyes tested. (Mrs. Shady says I should have my head examined.) I enjoyed seeing the pretty lights glowing in the darkened house. Looks like all of you got a nice haul of Christmas goodies including Scrappy. Every Christmas we got Toto a new battery powered plush animal that squeaked, sang and/or moved around on the floor. Toto went crazy over her new toy babies and played tug of war when we tried to steal them from her.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Chris!

    1. Thank you, good sir! As for the hassles, that got the comment of "Those things only happen to you! " from my son's lady friend.

  2. Chris:
    Glad you got the eyeglasses gig sorted out. Talk about potential problems (that never surfaced, thank God).
    A real "WHEW" day there.

    You all got some GREAT GEAR this Christmas.
    --KC's Cleveland INDIANS stuff might be worth more in the future, if the C-BS crowd have their say (let's hope not)
    --Lauries "bike".- kinda a ZEN thing there, hmm? She'll be doing MORE MILES than you soon enough, and the BEST part is that she will NOT be getting wet, muddy,. or chilly doing it...HA! Putting it together must been exercise enough for the day.
    --Scrappy's video is hilarious...he loves that dinosaurish-froggish thingy...
    (not gonna touch that one)
    --You can NEVER have enough pots & pans, either.
    --LOVE that MAYBERRY LAW sign...sure to keep "the locals" awy.
    --And what can I say about that Van Gogh artwork? - that's BRILLIANT!
    (but it DOES need a frame. What are the dimensions?)
    --Humidifier...seems newer constructs demand those as they're a lot "tighter" than older houses. We never get above 45% relative humidity at thew "Fortress", even when it's raining. Rather be dry than damp (no mold)

    Sounds like you all had a very nice time. Glad you were all blessed this Christmas.

    I'll full everyone in on Monday with our stuff and goings on.

    You all enjoy the weekend , the DW marathon, and always stay SAFE up there, brother.

    (let me know if & when you get away from Fortress martin and travel down to our Fortress, 'K?)

    1. Well, last night was a bit of a "post-Christmas celebration", so it might be a while before this groundhog sticks his head out again, lol!

      Weirdly, I'm not huge on frames, thanks for the offer. As for the dimensions, I'll wait untill I can again count my toes properly.