Saturday, October 13, 2018

Two Incredibly Good Bricks-And-Mortar Stories

My glasses frame cracked, preventing any additional adjustment to fit my shrinking head.  I bought these originally at Wal-Mart and they are well out of warranty.  The gal at the Garden City Wal-Mart hunted around trying to find frames that would accept my lens.  Apparently the frames and lens change dimensions annually, perhaps to force you to buy new lenses, frames, or both.  She did suggest going to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter on Franklin in Boise.  The gal there found some frames that were close enough that will a little grinding on the edge of one lens, they fit.  It was about $40 for new frames, compared to $300 for new lenses and frames, even under the VSP plan that Blue Cross of Idaho provides.

The rear door knob failed quite severely, requiring disassembly to get the door open.  The maker is something like Faultless (a Taiwanese company) which has a lifetime replacement warranty.  The last time they replaced one of these (for the front door), it took a couple weeks to arrive, so I went to Home Depot.  Nice old guy found a nearly perfect match on shape and color (satin nickel to match my wife's .380), rekeyed it to the current key.  And he was patient!  The Kwikset knob was giving up its key cylinder very reluctantly.


  1. I've bought a couple pairs of glasses online through Zenni Optical now and they're pretty nice. Like you, I'm used to paying $300 due to high prescription strength. I typically pay around $100 with Zenni.

  2. If you're worried about any kind of security issue at your house... Don't buy Kwikset. Ever. Their locks are crap, and easily picked. Worst are the "programmable" ones.

    Doorknobs for residential use that you buy at the big box stores are 99% crap, good for around a few tens of thousands of actuations. They'll be toast within a few years, even in residential applications. What you want to do is get to a real locksmith/security store and then buy their mid-grade commercial hardware--Nearly all of which will be rated for several orders of magnitude more in the way of actuations. As well, the keys and actual lock cylinders will be harder to pick, and more durable. If it's Kwikset, Schlage, or anything else you get at a big-box, don't waste your money. Schlage has so thoroughly polluted their brand that they don't even sell under their own name for commercial use--They're branding those as Falcon, now. Weslock, Baldwin, and Medeco brands are pretty solid in general, with a couple of higher-end imports being right in there.

    Nearly anything sold in blister-packs at the big box stores is going to be utter shiite, over the long haul. I'd only use those products on doors I would use maybe once a week, or so--Daily doors, that get opened a few dozen times a day need the higher-end stuff that they don't sell at the mass-market retailers. Go to a specialist, buy once, wince once, and never replace your door hardware again.

    Other issues usually found with these things? The hinges on most commercially-available residential doors are crap, as are the jambs. Then, there's the issue with the construction, in that the door jambs often aren't properly secured or strong enough in the door framing. I'm not particularly happy with any of the products on the market, these days--It's all light-duty crap, made out of softwoods. You really want to get a commercial steel door frame, and then anchor it properly into the frame of the house, which most people don't bother with. Average door can be be broken into by someone who knows what they're doing in less than a couple of minutes, and if they've got specialized tools, in seconds.

  3. I'm another Zenni user. Not much good if you need to fix broken glasses now, but if you want spares cheap and can wait a few weeks, they are well worth it.

  4. I bought bifocals recently from Zenni Optical, online. You need a current prescription. They cost me $39. Best glasses I have had in 15 years.

  5. takirks: Burglary? We have laws against that in Idaho.

    There was an amusing social media post a couple years ago by the prominent black astrophysicist from New York (forgot his name). His nephew was visiting from Idaho and asked why there were so many locks on his front door. "Don't you have locks in Idaho?"

    The nephew responded, "We have shotguns!"

  6. Back around 2004-2005, when gas prices started to spike, I was living in an old house in South Carolina, and there were rumors of people planning a crime spree. My house had a mailbox on a 4x4 wooden beam that wasn't sunk in concrete, and the dirt around it had loosened up so that the beam was sort of sitting crooked in a hole.

    One night I was woken up around 3AM by a WHAM! at my front door. Apparently some would-be home invader tried to use the mailbox as a battering ram. Sadly for him/them, the old house had a solid wooden door set in a sturdy frame. They were probably expecting my front door to be one of those modern wimpy ones takirks mentions above, and ran off when the first blow didn't let them into the house.