Friday, November 30, 2007

R.I.P. Evel Knievel

So long, Evel Knievel. You've inspired us all to try to jump the canyon in a home made rocket. May your broken and weary bones rest in peace.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

writer's block

I noticed this poster on a telephone pole while walking down writer's block.

A lot's been happening and it definitely warrants posting an update soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I went to the dentist today and I can't say it was an entirely good experience. I made an emergency appointment yesterday because one of my teeth were hurting and I appreciate that they got me in so quickly. I ended up enduring a variety of medieval torture methods marauding as dentistry for the hour and a half I spent in the chair.

Actually I was in two different chairs--the first was for my x-ray. Why technology can't catch up with this procedure is beyond me. The assistant throws the 500 pound lead apron over my chest that knocks the wind out of me. Then she jams the hard rectangle of x-ray film into my mouth and tells me to bite. I can't bite down because the cardboard is wedged between the roof of my mouth and under my tongue. She repeats for me to bite down a few times as she pulls it out and jams it back in. I try to say "I can't bite down because it's wedged under my toungue and causing a great deal of pain" but all that comes out is "aaarrhhghssc khaaaankd ddnnn." After a few more minutes of her repeating the prompts to bite down, she tells me not to move and runs out of the room. I've always felt that it can't be a good sign if technicians are running away while you're getting an x-ray.

Is anyone working on a safer and less torturous way of getting pictures of our insides??

After the x-ray nightmare I'm escorted into the examination area. I reclined in the chair and wait for the dentist and assistant come back and tell me what's causing the pain. I spent about 40 minutes alternately looking out the window and looking around the room. I thought about taking a nap but I was too jacked up on coffee to sleep. I noticed that several things in the room had a clear plastic bag covering it--the light fixture on the super sun mouth light, the movable tray housing different looking instruments, a small pressurized water tank and a few other things I couldn't really identify. I also noticed a couple of strange looking instruments that weren't covered. Upon closer inspection, I noticed splatters on the splash guards.

That kind of grossed me out. I started thinking about the shared arm rests on the chair and other shared surfaces and became even more grossed out. I suspected that they didn't sanitize too much stuff, I mean how can they possibly clean things between patients? I can't really see in the examination areas too well but I'm pretty sure I didn't see someone go in there and quickly wipe everything down. I know when they work on my mouth there's a fine mist of spray from the use of water tools. That tiny napkin fastened around your neck with roach clips is hardly sufficient and I often have to wipe dental runoff from my neck after I'm proclined (the opposite of recline??)

So after poking, prodding, scraping and drilling (without novacane), the determine that my #30 tooth is cracked and needs to have the filling repacked, needs a crown and possible root canal. I asked about pain killers and my dentist told me to take ibuprofen. I made my next appointments on the way out and can't wait for the next dental adventure. This dentist's visit left me feeling as if I've been chewing on tin foil all day, now in addition to the jaw pain. The chew on tinfoil feeling is one of the worst. It's tied with scratching nails on a chalkboard, or scraping plastic on styrofoam.

I didn't even get a free toothbrush this time! I'll have to be sure to grab two next time. I love doctor's office swag.

Monday, November 05, 2007

coyote at work!

One of the biggest differences since the clocks were changed an hour back, it's darker earlier in the evening. When we were leaving work today about 5:30, the sun had just set and the sky was a brilliant dark turquoise. One of my co-workers spotted a coyote in the parking lot, and I took this barely recognizable picture:

It appears the only thing the camera documented were two glowing eyes! I wasn't about to get any closer to get a better shot, I got a little nervous when he turned to look at me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

in case you were wondering about the Space Shuttle

The space shuttle has been docked at the International Space Station. While they were there, the crew of the Endeavor assisted in fixing the screw with the renegade metal filings. To fix the screw, the giant solar wings had to be retracted and the space shuttle moved (I'm still not solid on this one). After the job was completed, as they attempted to re open the wings, they "noticed" a tear in the solar blanket:

Yesterday, an Endeavor crew member engaged in a risky 7 hour space walk operation to fix the tear. The repair spacewalk was supposed to happen sooner, but they've had minor problems I'm not clear about causing delays.

(picture taken from astronaut helmet cam)

When they finally were able to do the space walk, it involved standing near a large field of electric current that couldn't be shut off. The actual task was something to the effect of cutting wires and improvising a jerry rig to hold the tear in place.

After the job was complete, the astronaut returned inside the International Space Station and the crew successfully opened the solar array. The space shuttle is scheduled to return to earth on Wednesday, unless of course something else comes up.

Another article I found explains that the astronauts brought Luke Skywalker's light saber with them. It's not even a real one, it's only a replica. That's really not going to help them in the event of an emergency. I wonder if anyone told the astronauts that it didn't work. How much extra fuel the space shuttle used to launch that extra 5 lbs or so into space?

NASA sure seems confident the shuttle will successfully re-enter the earth at the end of the mission (or at least they're not addressing any concerns). They've been up there for 12 days so far.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

E.coli, salmonella, and botulism, oh my!

Is more of our food being contaminated or has the amount of contaminated food always stayed the same, but the media's reporting of food recalls and poisonings has increased as time goes by?

battered halibut rip-off

The last time we were at Trader Joe's, Ric bought a box of "Battered Halibut." I was going to throw some in the oven the other night, but when I opened the box I couldn't believe my eyes. The size of the fillets and the amount in the box occupied less then half the box space. Over half of the box was empty! What a waste.

Here is a comparison photo of the bagged fillets next to the box that contained it. We started talking about how there's wasted box materials, twice as many trees and plastic and whatever else they're using to make the box, half as many are shipped but take up the maximum amount of space. I'm sure we paid an amount that led us to believe there'd be more in the box.

This is what was in the bag. And the quality of fish wasn't good either.

When was a kid, I used to love tartar sauce. We didn't make any for this battered halibut, but it would have definitely helped. We went to the supermarket last night and couldn't find any sweet relish or bread without high fructose corn syrup in it. What's up with that?