Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rio Grande Valley in the rear view mirror

Just to bring everyone up to date. Peggy and I left the Rio Grande Valley about two weeks ago, where we have been staying for the last couple of months. We are now slowly working our way East toward Mississippi for our Grand Daughter's 5th birthday on the 8th of March. Should be back in Austin by the middle of March. By the time we get back we will have been gone for 3 1/2 months and I am starting to get a little home sick.

Here we are stopped at a rest area somewhere along IH 10 in Louisianna:

At the moment we are at the Coushatta Casino RV Resort in Kinder, LA. This is really a great place to stop. At first, we were only going to stay for a day but, ended up extending for five. Been going dancing every night to some great cajun blues music here in the casino. This is a big place too. I have been going for a run every day and one lap around the casino is 3 1/2 miles.

I suppose we will be leaving here on Monday and heading on to Gulfport, MS for a week or so. Hoping to hear and, hopefully, play some good blues music while in Mississippi. This form of music has always been a big deal in Mississippi but, lately it is starting to be heavily promoted as a tourist attaction. The Mississippi Blues Commission has, what they call, a blues trail which features many sites all over the state which are noted for their blues heritage.

As usual, we had a great time in the Rio Grande Valley. I believe this was our sixth winter spent there. Met a lot of people this year that like to jam so, we got to play a lot of music and had a ball. Looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Democratic Nomination - Essentially settled

Well, last night we watched another sweep by Barack Obama and it appears he will take this streak all the way to the convention. It appears that the gears have stripped on the Clinton election machine.

We believe Obama will be the nominee and are supporting the campaign financially and through our physical efforts. I would urge you to go to the web site and sign up for email updates and, if you feel so moved, make a contribution - you can help change this country for the better.

In a way I feel sorry for Hillary, even though I consider the Clintons to be the sleaziest couple of liars I have ever seen. I should not feel any sympathy for her but, I see this as the culmination of her life long ambition to be the first female President and to change history. She lost her chance by making the wrong political choice to support the illicit war in Iraq, reliance on polling rather than saying what she really thinks, and attempting to inject race into this campaign. I feel bad for her but, good riddance to the Clintons! And, by-the-way, Obama is going to beat McCain like a drum!

Aubrey de Grey on Comedy Central

I just came across this video and, although I would rather be watching politics on MSNBC, I just had to stop and post this. In case you do not know, Aubrey de Grey is our favorite spokesman for the anti-aging movement and is a Ph.D. Biogerontologist from the University of Cambridge.

You have to see this! Actually, it is a serious subject and Doctor de Grey is a serious scientist but, this is just hilarious. I know you will enjoy it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My personal journey to hell

Until a week or so ago I had not been to a dentist in 20 years. Without question, I doubt that anyone actually enjoys going to the dentist but, here is how much I hate it. About 16 years ago I had two back teeth with large fillings that had the sides break off, leaving very sharp edges. Sure, I could have gone straight to the dentist to get this fixed, as almost anyone would. However, my solution to the problem was to get a file out of my tool box and file off the sharp edges, thereby, avoiding a trip to the dentist.

We have friend, who's son-in-law is a dentist, who has been assuring me for years that dentistry has changed immeasureably and bears no resemblence to the barbarity of 20 years ago and that I should just suck it up and go. Well, I have done that and can tell you, in no uncertain terms, it is exactly as I remembered it from two decades ago. I say this mearly as a fact, and not to take anything away from the extremely skillful dentist who is doing my work. In fact, I consider the man to be a real artist who is doing beautiful work. However, those needles still hurt like hell and the process is terribly uncomfortable.

OK, here's the deal - I am getting four crowns - the two back teeth that I filed on 16 years ago, plus my two upper front teeth which were broken 42 years ago in high school football. Actually, I was not very worried about those back teeth but, the front ones had me concerned. I have been through a lot with those two teeth - temporary crowns that kept coming off, eventually a permanent crown, broken bones in the gum, root canal, metal post implants. I think it actually makes it worse that I have gone through all this and have never even liked that stupid, lame ass, game of football which caused the problem. Can't even remember the last time I watched a Super Bowl game. I'm not even going to get into the broken fingers that now make it hard to play the guitar that I really do love. So there you have it; let's go to the dentist.

Back ones were first and not that bad. Sure, there were the usual 6" long needles jammed into the gum and jaw (Some Beach) but, I got through it. Before he started on the front teeth I asked how he would get the old crowns off. The answer made me suspicious, "We cut them right off in two minutes - no big deal - we do it every day." Here is how it actually went, and I am recalling this from about 3 hours ago: needles into the upper front gum followed by the roof of my mouth. By the time that was over with, I am sweating profusely. Then the grinding started so agressively that it was difficult to hold my head still, followed by a metal pick that still wouldn't free the crown. So, out comes the jack hammer which pounded so hard it shook me down to my spine. Finally, they came loose and my lot improved immeasureably at that point.

Honestly, I can't say it was all bad. I did have the hottest and sweetest dental assistant you could ever imagine. She did the deadening before the crowns came off and, while doing the injection, held my head against her left boob, which was pretty nice! Each time after she stuck me she would pat me on the chest with her right hand and say, "You poor thing, I am soooooo sorry." I have to admit, it REALLLLYYY helped! Then, while the jack hammer was running, she stood there and gently patted my shoulder. I will take her comforting any day over nitrous oxide.

All that is left is to go back and get the crowns glued in place. The worst is over and I am going to live through it but, don't let anyone kid you into thinking that dentistry is anything but an extremely brutal ordeal. But, aren't we all lucky to have these skillful, professional dentists that are working today? And, for goodness sakes, let's not forget those assistants!