New frontiers in pain

This morning, while cruising the aisles of the base commissary, my front tooth decided to shatter.  It had a couple of cracks in it but the dentist thought it would hold together for a while.  That was three weeks ago, this is now.

For an incoming breath, if the air comes from a heated room, I don’t have any real discomfort, BUT if I’m outside where the temperature is around 40 and take a breath ripples of pain course through my head.  I try cupping my hand over my face, but it looks ridiculous (and makes it hard for anyone to understand me).

The chipped tooth is my right, upper, ‘buck’ tooth.  When I smile, I look like somebody parked a jagged iceberg on my lip.  Naturally, the dentist’s office isn’t open from Friday through Sunday so I have to wait until Monday to even get an appointment.  I did leave a message and have hope somebody will call back and find a small slot soon to trim off the sharp edges.  If that is done, then at least my tongue won’t get slashed to ribbons.

I am definitely ready for winter to end.  All my Daffodil bulbs have sprouted and, after I raked away the dead grass, loam, and leaves from the flower beds, all sorts of green thingies are popping up.  Rain helps, and we’ve had a bit of that too lately.  Walking across my lawn feels like a stroll over Alaskan Tundra or Muskeg.  Every step you feel that your foot will break through and the mud will suck a shoe off or something.

Once we start getting simple rain, I will be able to wash all the accumulated salt off our vehicles.  I have to do that every spring or nothing would be left except a small pile of rust-colored powder between four wheels.  Are they making road salt more potent lately?  Seems so.

The library here has just received a new copy of my favorite Woody Allen movie:  “What’s Up Tiger Lily?”.  This is a completely hilarious movie that Allen created from an absolutely horrible Japanese spy movie he acquired the right to.  He totally pulled it apart and re-edited it with dubbed English dialog making the protagonists appear to be vying for the top secret recipe for an egg salad sandwich.  Most of the dialog appears a-la Michael Winslow (from Police Academy – sound effects) where the mouth moves before the dialog starts and continues after the dialog ends.  The total effect gets me laughing every time I see it.  If you can find a copy, watch it.  Very funny.

I rarely watched The Simpsons except for the times that an NFL football game (on Fox) ran overly long and The Simpsons started immediately thereafter.  Sometimes the comedy can be a little lacking, but otherwise the dialog (if you listen closely) is very funny.  The movie the Simpsons made is a real work of art.  Given the full-length movie format, which gives more time for plot development, their brand of comedy really shines.  A lot of the gags are strictly sight gags.  One in particular really deserves the laughs it gets:  Homer is trying to run a wrecking ball over a vehicle full of bad guys and manages to have it boomerang back into himself.  The ball then crashes back and forth between a bar called “The Hard Place” and a small, rocky cliff.  Get it?  Between a rock and a hard place.  Well, nobody accused me of being very deep.

I see it is now time for me to go.  The nice, bulky, guys in the white coats are helping me into my long-sleeved shirt now.  Soon, they’ll wheel me back into my soft-walled room.

tobie_coolTobie is gone.  He departed yesterday at 1827 hours in a small room.  He was attended by the vet, myself, and an assistant.  It was a tearful goodbye and one that I was dreading, but knew I would have to attend.

He managed a short period of purring, something he rarely did, which the vet tells me is a sort of feline going away present.  Like the three friends of his before, I see it as him telling me it’s ok to let go.  His cancer had claimed his body, but his spirit is now free to roam fields of slow mice and flightless birds – which he has only seen from the front window.  He has his good friends that went before him to act as a guide and help him adjust to a new life.

He will be missed immensely by all who knew him.  He was laid to rest this morning in a handmade coffin while rain steadily drizzled down.  Tomorrow, I will put up a marker which will take it’s place with the other three markers under our Blue Spruce in the back yard.


Tobie, my old friend

Tobie is another of a long line of cats we have had in our house.  He arrived about 9 years ago after my daughter had to hand out her three cats when she got pregnant.  A very difficult decision on her part I’m sure.

He arrived here in Ohio in the dead of winter in my truck after I went out there to help winterize the house in Boulder.  He immediately took to the house and established detente with my other cat, Mystic.  Mystic is now just under 20 years old with Tobie shortly behind at 17.

It was my duty today to take him to the vet and get a checkup.  He has lost a load of weight lately and we feared the worst.  With a certainty of almost 100%, the vet pronounced “Intestinal Cancer”.

Several options were discussed, but times have been tough on our financial resources and we just couldn’t afford almost $2500 for a complete diagnosis and treatment.  Given his age, and possible response to some in-house drugs, I opted for that.  I ended up with a healthy dose of Prednisone, which is a steroid, that is supposed to stimulate feeding habits.  I gave him his first pill right in the office.

By the time I got him home, he was apparently very hungry.  This is a first for him as he normally issues press releases to the effect that he’ll “be over to have some of that inferior food when I get around to it”.  He is now in the kitchen begging for more food after the initial burst of noshing.  A very good sign.

According to the vet, if I can get his weight back up, the therapy might just work in his favor.  We have an appointment two weeks from now to see how he is doing.

God, I hate losing pets.  My “recent” cats have lived to as old as 25 and none younger than 17 when they passed away.

Tobie, the cat:


The snow has gone

We had a big Chinook three days ago and almost every bit of ground snow melted within a four or five hour period.  Chinooks are warm, dry winds that spring up usually from the Southwest to South and warm things up.  I am now stuck with a marsh instead of grass.  The snow melted much too fast and is now standing water in low areas.  With the sun out, things might improve later this week.

I’ve had my camera sitting on the windowsill all weekend but nothing to aim it at.  The spring birds haven’t arrived yet (although I did spot a robin yesterday) so it’s just the hardy “big, black, birds” that appear on the feeder.

Even the squirrels have been very shy so far this year.  One or two of them make an appearance, but then rush off when a car passes by, or a gust of wind rattles the branches overhead.  Very nervous creatures for some reason.  I’ll have to get some of the little corn cobs for them to gnaw on.

The wife is back from Colorado having spent two weeks out there visiting my youngest daughter.  My daughter’s life has been made progressively crappier by the efforts of her “X” boyfriend – who also fathered two kids.  He has been bringing papers to the court accusing her of everything from putting Bar-B-Q sauce on the kids and roasting them to making the paint fall off his car.  The only redeeming feature he has is that he now claims that he has been “fixed”.  This make me very happy because he is now out of the gene pool – probably the kiddie end.  I often entertain humorous ways of bumping him off.  It’s a healthy release because I’d never actually do any of them.

The ever-continuing saga of my truck marches onward.  I am now searching for what is called a ‘carrier bearing’.  This is a small, U-shaped bearing with a rubber insert that surrounds the forward end drive shaft immediately after the front U-joint.  The Nissan dealership claims they can’t find any reference to that part – even though they have had the truck up on the lift and actually took a picture of it.  Said picture was sent to Nissan in the hopes they can identify the bearing in question.  They’ll probably claim that elves put it on there after it left the factory.  If it isn’t fixed, then the shaft will start to vibrate at high speeds and chew up the rest of the bearing.  Once that happens, the U-joint can separate and drop the drive shaft on the ground – digging immediately into the pavement and forcing the bed of the truck into the air.  I’ve actually seen this happen.

We are slowly building up another package to send to our good friend Chippy over in the UK.  He seems a bit down in the doldrums (that’s South of Jamaica near St. Kitts) after he bashed his knee.  Anything we can do to help with cooking meals can help.  He loves the garlic and cheese biscuits (well, WE call them biscuits).  Hmmm.  Just what IS an American ‘biscuit’ called in the UK? A bun?

Here’s a good sight gag for you: