Archive for the web fun Category

New Twitter Account

Posted in web fun, web tools on 11 July 08 by mikevc

Because of the impending demise of Twitter, I decided I better take full advantage of it while it is around. For a year or so I have been using Twitter as “mvancamp” to keep my staff informed of what I was up to and where I was at at all times with a widget on my work blog (Blogger). I have decided to create another account under “mikevc” for more personal Twittering. Ain’t that exciting? I would love to throw a widget up on this here blog but am having trouble getting it to jive w/ WordPress.  Any suggestions?

Check Out My Muxtape

Posted in music, web fun on 18 April 08 by mikevc

I know I broke the cardinal rule of compilation makin’ by putting the same band on twice but I figure I can bend the rules a bit as I age.

If you have a muxtape, let me know; I’ll check it out.

Glasses for $8? So Far, So Good

Posted in glasses, money saving, web fun on 13 March 08 by mikevc

Through friends and several blog posts, I recently discovered Glassy Eyes, a blog run by a guy named Ira dedicated to the premise that the eyeglass business is a huge rip-off. He started the blog after buying glasses online for a fraction of the $500 a chain store wanted to charge him. As he investigated, he discovered that glasses were being sold at ridiculous profits. As an example, a pair of $199 glasses actually cost $35 to make leaving $165 in pure profit. So, he decided to do something about it. His web site now helps consumers navigate the world of online discount optical stores. In fact, he has become such a force in the industry the suppliers provide his readers’ a discount and he can–and will–get them to address and fix concerns his readers have with their orders.

Needing new glasses and not wanting to shell out $300, I decided to give it a whirl. Using Zenni Optical, one of the cheapest sites Ira points to, I placed an order for three pairs of glasses for a grand total of $38.49. I went with Zinni (3 stars) over the slightly more expensive 4 and 5 star sites (where complete glasses run from $19.99 to $50), figuring if it was a bust I wouldn’t be out too much. I ordered two pairs of $12.99 glasses and one pair of $8, both complete with basic lenses. Since I only need single vision, I didn’t have to add upgrades, which are equally as cheap. I wanted to add the polychromatic (clear indoors transforming to sunglasses outside) lenses for $29 (as opposes to several hundred anywhere I else I have checked) to one of the pairs but figured I would do that on a later order. Just the basics for me on this initial order.

So, today, all three pairs arrive. It took nine business days for them to arrive. So far, I am quite impressed. The prescription is spot on, comparable to my $300 glasses. As I would expect with a new prescription, I can see more clearly with all three pairs than with my two year old prescription glasses. The quality and durability appear to be quite good, though admittedly not as high as some of my old more expensive pairs. But I am willing to sacrifice that if I am paying less than 5% of what I normally paid for glasses. I am really happy with two pairs and love the $8 pair the most. One pair has slightly different coloring than I though but are still serviceable. And, for the first time since I started wearing glasses, I have backup glasses (2) that are not an old prescription. Initially, I am quite impressed. If each of these glasses hold up for six months, I will have saved a huge amount of money. I plan on investigating some of the other sites Ira points to in the future. And, I can get new glasses every year, instead of waiting two or three years because I can’t bring myself to lay down hundreds of dollars for new glasses when I really should get them.

For now, I am fairly certain that I will not be paying $300 for glasses ever again. And, I like thousands of other readers of Glassy Eyes say thank you and urge others to check it out.

Oregon Trail Redux

Posted in video games, web fun on 15 December 07 by mikevc


A while back I posted about looking for Oregon Trail. Well, I found it via While looking, I also found a version updated for the 2000s. In this version you can be a slacker, student, or professional and your goal is to drive cross country to a music festival, hunting burgers, tacos, and candy along the way. It is quite a lot of fun and faithfully reproduces the Oregon Trail graphics quite well. Want to give it a try? It is called ThuleTrail and appears developed by the company that makes bike racks, ski racks, etc., which explains the kayak, mountain bike, and skiing competitions along the way.

Fun and Helpful Time Waster

Posted in web fun on 29 October 07 by mikevc

freericelogo.jpgFor those of you who find yourself wasting time late at night playing various computer games or spending too much time in facebook, I suggest playing with the vocabulary game over at According to the site, 10 grains of rice will be donated to feed the hungry (funded through advertisers) for every question answered correctly. I ended up with 2200 and L. had 2100 (guess who went first?). The site opened on October 7 of this year. Thus far they have donated 372,382,150 grains, improved folks’ vocabulary, and raised consciousness about world hunger. A pretty darn good job, I’d say.

It is a lot of fun and gets extremely challenging as you move up in rank. I managed to get up to a vocab level of 47 but could not stay at that level. It seems to take 3 or 4 right answers in a row to go up a level and only one wrong one to move down one. I suspect I could have done much better if I had Merriam Webster Online opened in another window as I took the test. No matter what, it is bound to help expand your vocabulary ; I saw a few words I had never seen before.