September 4th, 2015


Everything Old Is New Again


Back in the end of June we made a run down to North Carolina to see my mom. Took three days of driving each way, instead of two -- back when I was finishing college I could do the 18½ hour drive from Evanston to Greensboro in one fell swoop. Anyway, the trip went surprisingly well.

But on the first day of the return trip, Monday 29 June 2015, we were in southwestern Virginia near Wythesville -- along an amusing stretch where one road is North I-77/South I-81/North US-51/South US-11 and vice versa on the other direction -- and I made a quick stop at a McDonald's to use the bathroom. And in yanking off my outer shirt to get at my suspenders, somehow my new glasses from February (DW) (LJ) got yanked off my head and fell flat onto the tile floor.

Right lens cracked.

These are safety glasses with titanium safety frames, so the glass didn't shatter into a million pieces, but they were pretty cracked:

Yeah that right lens is pretty much cracked. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

Amazingly, if I _had_ to, I could've worn and driven in them. But as part of my packrat nature, there's a Velcro pocket on the outside of the little gray tweed rolling bag, which has a spare pair of glasses. They're two sets old -- I change them out when I get new glasses. The old set is my spares, the old old set is my emergency travel set. Even better, by being two sets old, the astigmatism rotation was actually not bad and this old old pair was certainly sharper and clearer than if I'd used my last pair of glasses. Success!

Well, not completely perfect. While I was delighted that the farthest distance correction actually worked, the prescription wasn't quite right. And several times I've wondered whether the headaches and eyestrain I was getting was from the work I was doing all summer -- a whole lotta Time In Chair -- or from the glasses. I needed these fixed and soon.

Before we drove off from the scene of the crime, I called the eye place (ain't cellphone contracts swell?), but as I suspected, they had to have the frames to make a new lens. What with the Fourth of July, it wasn't until Monday 6 July that I got them in. I was expecting it to take two weeks to get them. Because they were safety glass, the lens maker would examine the lens and decide whether the break was covered by warranty. Because they are PhotoGray Extra BUT only a few months old, I really only needed one lens. A few years ago when a loose screw caused a lens to pop out, they were over a year old and I had to get two lenses because otherwise the photo response wouldn't match.

New versus Old Old glasses. (Click on photo for larger.)
©2015 Dr. Philip Edward Kaldon (All Rights Reserved)

I've stopped by a couple of times to see if the new lens was in. Nope. Nope. And... nope. One time I missed them in the office -- my bad, it was a day they closed early. The next time I checked their website, only to find out they were on their summer hours and their website hadn't been update since like 2013. (!!) Once they couldn't tell me anything because the lab was in northern Michigan in a spot which had just had torrential flooding and the power was out.

Finally, Thursday there was a message that the glasses were in. Yay.

Why the delay? Well, consider the blog title in yet another way. Seems that there was a magazine article recently touting the advantages of glass lenses over plastic -- better clarity, durability -- which I knew as a Physicist and photographer. Apparently Germany and Japan uses 92% glass lenses, over Americans who wanted lightweight shatterproof plastic for years and years. So suddenly in the summer of '15 glass lenses, including safety glass, have become the latest boutique item in eyeglasses in the United States -- and there are only three makers of the glass blanks. Therefore a shortage.

Sixty days after I dropped them off, I got my glasses back again. As compensation, they did two new lenses at no charge.

So, am I wearing them now? No. Because with two virgin PhotoGray Extra lenses, I have them "cooking" on a window sill, and will alternate between light and dark to set the photo reaction. Why does this always happen on overcast days? (grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal

You Are Not Here

As a few reviews/comments start trickling in on the Beta 1 book AND I am getting ready for school on Tuesday, I am flitting about working on this and that which needs working on.

Besides continuing to start on Query letters (a very painful process), doing some tweaks of Book 1 and starting up the Book 2 Edit Pass 2 phase, I am also looking at maps. Need to make town maps for Sommerhus and Nunuuvit. But it occurred to me that here we have a Lost Kingdom that doesn't appear on any maps, perhaps I had better MAKE a map which shows where the damned thing is.

I searched through my IMAGES directory, because I remember finding a nice map of Scandinavia -- Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. This one is particularly nice because a lot of maps DON'T bother to show the Arctic Circle. When you have a secret kingdom located just north of the Arctic Circle, this is particularly useful. Also, all the action in Book 1 runs from the north of Norway to Copenhagen -- basically the whole left side of the map.

And lo and behold, when I checked out the source, it is possible to use it as a stock image -- and modify it (I think they're looking at some of the tourist pages using 502.gif, not necessarily a novel) -- as long as you give it credit. Should be possible to license the map as well for publication, when I have a publisher who wants to worry about that.

So, without further ado, I give you:

The Locator map for the Kingdom of Eisbergen (est. 460 A.D.)

Base Map: Copyright World Sites Atlas (

Full size files: Color or Grayscale for cheaper printing.

Version 1.15, the latest Map of Eisbergen, is here. It will soon be updated as well.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal