visit to the dentist in springlike weather
Friday, March 15 2019
I had a dream this morning that had having a friendly conversation outdoors with a music reviewer named Dave Marsh (that's what his name was in the dream, and indeed there is a real Dave Marsh who is a music critic). The Dave Marsh in this dream was (unlike the real Dave Marsh) a youngish hipster and also a DJ at one of the local radio stations, perhaps WDST. I don't remember much more about the dream, but the point of mentioning it is that I've been remembering my dreams better of late, and they don't all have me fretting about the body of someone I killed.
I would be working remotely today because of a dental appointment Gretchen had made for me. When your wife makes a dental appointment for you, it's a good idea to go. It might be the only way she feels comfortable communicating that you've developed relationship-crippling halitosis.
Before I began my workday, I made a firewood-salvaging foray down the Stick Trail to the nearby places I've been felling small dead trees and made a load of wood I'd already cut. I took it directly into the living room and subtracted my weight from my loaded backpack and got a measurement of 95 pounds.
Instead of doing my remote work up in the laboratory, I set up my work laptop on the kitchen table, added the new travel monitor (with its 2560 X 1440 pixels). Windows paternalistically wanted to double the sizes of everything on the little monitor, but with my progressive-lens glasses, I was perfectly happy reading material on it at its native resolution. It's great to be able to cram so much visual content into such a small (11.5 X 6.5 inch) space.
The internet here at the house is decidedly slower than it is at the office, and that was a problem for me, because today I had to interact with big MS SQL database backups and I also had to deploy a fixed version of the Electron app I've been building (which is now more than a gigabyte in size!).
At noon, I went to my dental appointment. Things were awkward at first between me and my dental hygienist. I followed her into the room and stood there and she said "come in," by which she meant "sit down," but I was busy staring at the old xrays of my teeth. Later, though, I broke the ice by telling her to go easy on the incisor closest to my top left canine (my "punk rock tooth") because I wasn't sure how well-anchored it was. She offered me a local anæsthetic while she cleaned my teeth, and I took it. That came in handy particularly when she was scraping the tartar from around the roots of my lower incisors. Those teeth are tiny and I always feel like they're just going to snap off when they're being cleaned. After my teeth were cleaned, the hygienist said my teeth were all in good shape but that my gums, well, not so much. The problem was mostly near the roots of those tiny bottom incisors. It seems the tartar had built up so much that the gums were now sticking to that instead of the underlying teeth. With the tartar scraped away, the gums were just flapping in the breeze. The solution was regular flossing, of course. But I'm never going to do that. When I heard about a device that sprays a high-pressure jet of water between the teeth, that sounded more like something I could do on a regular basis. Later tonight, I would order such a device on eBay.
There was also the issue of what to do with my punk rock tooth. In recent months it had begun to turn funky again, meaning I could massage a foul-smelling substance out of the gum at its root. Was this decaying food that had found its way into the gap? The dentist seemed to think the problem was a persistent abscess that had never been fixed, not even with that root canal I'd gotten back in 2000. The obvious solution was to yank the tooth out, but I'm a little too vain to sacrifice an incisor just yet. So he proposed another possible solution: to open up the gum at the base of the tooth and zap the root with a laser. I'd never heard of such a treatment, but at the quoted price of $250, it seemed worth trying. If I can make that tooth permanently stop being so funky, it would totally be worth it. Mind you, it bears rememmbering, the thousands I have spent on that tooth are all the result of a single instant in a mosh pit in Blacksburg, Virginia in the Fall of 1994, when a friend of mine was drinking from a beer bottle and, well, that bottle accidentally slammed into my face.
On the way home, I stopped by the Tibetan Center thrift store (as you would expect, given that my dentist is in West Hurley). The electronics section was chaotic mass of piled things in no particular order. I patiently went through it all, and the only things I found that I wanted were a USB cable and a nice switching 12 volt high-power wall wart. I also had a $5 debt to repay (for that reflecting telescope).
By now, the day had become decidedly springlike, with temperatures in the 60s and snow melting into rivulets. It was the warmest it had been since something like October. Gretchen and I were so excited by the glorious weather that we took the dogs on a walk down the Farm Road and back. Later I made another firewood salvaging run down the Stick Trail. This time I brought the pieces back to the woodshed, split them, and used the wood to partially-fill in the void I'd recently made in the third tranche. I didn't weigh this load, though it was probably 115 pounds or so.
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