Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Déjà View.

THEY'RE HERE!! My Rudy Projects finally arrived! So what are Rudy Projects? In my opinion, they are some of the coolest high performance sunglasses around and I'm the lucky owner of a pair Ekynox SX with two pairs of interchangeable lenses - pair for walking around the streets of India and the other for trekking in the high altitudes in Tibet.

....but, why would I care to blog about my Rudy Projects? Because there's a good story behind them and I don't want to forget it.

I doing some reading about trekking through Tibet, I had come across a couple of references recommending the need for good eye protection from the sun. Of course, I had no idea what the definition of "good protection" is so I did more reading. I quickly discovered that the sunglasses at "sea level" would be more than sufficient to block out UV (any polycarbonate lens would do the job) but would not be sufficient to block out the glare of the sunglight that shines at high elevations. Woohoo! More gear to buy!

But what to buy? I had no clue. So...., I decided to call on my friend Bob for help. I mentioned to him that I was in search of "heavy duty" sunglasses. No sooner had the conversation ended than Bob zinged me an email with a URL to a cyberstore that specializes in mountaineering sunglasses that can be fitted for presciption lenses. Just what I was looking for. I stared at the Julbos with lust in my eyes! How cool would it be to look like a true mountaineer? I decided to really try on a pair so I headed to REI and they had a few in the case. Love the glasses! They fit me perfectly and the removable wind guards would come in handy in keeping dirt/dust out. The only problem is that they block out about 92% of light. Wearing them in the REI store, I could barely see anything - it was as if someone had realllly dimmed down the lights. So as much as I liked the Julbos, I decided that they were probably more glare protection than I needed. I headed back to the internet for more research.

Persistence does pay off. Surfing away, I eventually stumbled across a trekker's website where he posted up all his favorite gear along with commentary as to why each piece was noteworthy. Lo and behold, he had a posting on his favorite sunglasses - Julbos for mountaineering/trekking in the snow and Rudy Projects for high altitude trekking.

I had never heard of Rudy Projects so I Googled it and got to the Rudy Project USA website. As it turns out, Rudy Project is an Italian firm that specializes in high performance sunglasses. It didn't take long for me to find a pair that I liked and the fact that you can get interchangeable lenses to accomodate for different environmental conditions was icing on the cake. I was in DEEP lust and obssession was beginning to set in.

Even so, I wasn't quite ready to buy them yet. I decided to show them to my friend Bob to get his opinion. The next day, I went to Bob's office - all excited that I had found what I thought were cool presecription sunglasses As I was leaning over his shoulder, Bob typed in the Rudy Project website URL into his browser. As he was typing in the URL, he turned and looked at me and as he lifted his hands, palms up, into the air, uttered, "Poofted". I replied "Poofted? He said that he had just had an epiphany - that's what "poofted" meant. I thought to myself, an epiphany about sunglasses? Okay, I was game for the story that I knew was coming.

Bob then proceeded to tell me the story. Once upon every year, Bob and his wife Linda vacation at Club Med. On one of their Club Med vacations a few years back, they encountered a group of men all wearing shirts that had the phrase "Rudy Project" emblazoned on them. Curious as he is, Bob wanted to know what the words meant and so he asked one of them. Turns out he was chatting to "Rudy"of Rudy Project who told him that his company makes high performance sunglasses. At this point in the story, I'm thinking it's a sign.....I must have these glasses. Okay, maybe that's a cheap excuse but the story doesn't end there. Bob then tells me that just a few weeks back, he was having a conversation with Linda and the topic of the guys in the Rudy Project t-shirts came up. Bob and Linda were racking their brains trying to remember what Rudy Project was all about but neither could remember. You have to admit, Rudy Project is an unusual product name and nothing in it would tell you that it has anything to do with sunglasses! Apparently, my asking Bob to type in a URL brought all these memories to the surface.

But the story of the Rudy Projects doesn't end there. The next chapter tells the tale of Julee, the error in the search query and the Rudy Project webmaster. I was trying to search for information on the Rudy Project website and discovered a typo in one of their search queries. I decided to shoot the webmaster an FYI email to let him know about the typo. He promptly replied to thank me and to tell me that if I ordered sunglasses, he would make sure to send some "Rudy extras" along. WOW! Free stuff! Who say no to that?

As far as I was concerned, the stars all aligned and I was destined to own a pair of Rudy Projects. I took the plunge, went to the store and placed my order. I'm now living happily ever after with my new sunglasses.....and I got my own Rudy Project t-shirt, cap and fanny pack to walk around in as well!

********* The End ********