My Root Canal

My Root Canal

My tooth had been bothering me for months.  There was the dull ache that was almost always present and then there was the hypersensitivity to hot and cold.  The body adapts, though, without you putting in very much thought into the entire process.  You tend to chew food on one side of your mouth.  When you drink you find yourself pushing the liquid away from the tooth.  The dull ache becomes just more noise in the background of your life.  I went in to the dentist for my regular six month check-up and mentioned the tooth.  My dentist took an x-ray below the gum line and he showed me there was an infection below the gum line and that I might need a root canal in the near future.  Damn, a root canal.

Now a root canal conjures up images of sadistic dentists going in elbows deep with their implements of destruction.  The patient, in this case me, being held down by nurse Crachet and the pain shooting through my mouth and body.  That was my image of what a root canal looked and felt like.  I had never had one before.  I had never even come close.  I brush.  I floss.  I practice great dental hygiene so it shouldn’t have happened to me.  Yet it did.

A month or two passed since I was at the dentist and I went out to dinner with my family.  I drank something cold and even that cold, on the other side of my mouth, sent waves of pain shooting through my mouth.  I tried to eat and drink that night and had a hard time because the pain ended up being so bad.  What could a boy do?  I needed a root canal and needed it soon.

My Root Canal Oddesy

The next morning I called my dentist.  Of course he was on vacation that week and I ended up getting a call back from the receptionist about an hour after I left my message.  My friends had given me a name of an Endodontist ( a dentist specializing in root canals) where the experience would be relatively painless.  Since they do so many root canals they do them efficiently, quickly, and are able to tamp down the pain.  I gave this name to the receptionist and she said that this was the person they recommended anyway, and then she told me she would call me back yet again after talking to my dentist.  The long and short of it is that she was able to make an appointment for me for the next morning for a consultation with the Endodontist.

I got up early and left for the new dentist I was about to see.  This office was closer to my home so I was happy about the low travel time.  I filled out some paperwork and then they took me to the back room which looked like every other dentist office I had ever been in.  The assistant took and x-ray, which appeared immediately on a computer screen, and there the infection was brilliantly glowing beneath my gum line.

The doctor came in and looked at the x-ray and then he put a cold stick on part of my tooth.  After they peeled me off the ceiling they told me I did indeed need a root canal and the doctor started to put a Novocain stick in my mouth.  I told them I thought that this was just a consultation and he said they could do the root canal immediately if I had the time.  Indeed I did!

The Root Canal and the Aftermath

So they proceeded to numb up my mouth before they took out the needle and shot me full of the goodness that is Novocain.  The prep work took about ten minutes and after half of my face was sufficiently numb, the big needle came out and he started filling my jaw line with the pain-numbing formula.  It took about seven or eight shots I would guess?  He then said they would wait another five minutes before they started and I wandered off down the hall to use the bathroom.

The root canal was fantastic.  I experience absolutely no pain.  He kept injecting more Novocain into my mouth as he drilled and as he worked all the debris kicked up by the drill was caught by a dental dam.  I had never used one before but that was really a neat invention.  The root canal felt like an extended cavity being filled, which in reality it was.  The root is killed and the cavity made by the Endodontist was filled like any other cavity.  He then packed the rest of the hole with cotton and put a temporary filling over the hole he had just drilled through my crown.  My beautiful $650 crown.

They left me $345 lighter in my pocket, thank God we have dental insurance because they covered about $1,300.00 of the procedure, and I had lost about an hour of my time.  A root canal is not cheap.  They told me to I should follow up with my dentist to get the temporary filling removed and replaced by a permanent one.

The tooth was tender from the procedure for a little over a week.  It would hurt if I would bit down on it and I could tell there was a bit of swelling around the beastly tooth.  The sheet sent home with me told me I could expect pain for up to a couple of weeks following a root canal, so the feeling was not unexpected.  I could, however, now drink hot and cold liquids!  Progress!

Did you know when you have a root canal that you do not need Novocain to get the new filling put in?  Since the root was killed and the nerves removed, there is no pain associated with that tooth.  I went in this morning and had the absolute best experience I have ever had getting a filling.  The entire thing took about ten minutes and the filling matched the crown perfectly.  The dentist could not tell where the crown ended and the filling began.  I could then eat and drink on it immediately.  Fillings and cavities have come so far in my short time here on earth.  It amazes me how nice fillings look these days.

Anyway…that is my story of my root canal.  There was no pain involved at all except the pain that my tooth had from needing a root canal.  The procedure was quick, I was in and out in about an hour, and the tooth was back to normal in a little over a week.  I have a filling that matches my crown and I have no more pain eating or drinking.  I would get one again in a second if I had known it would take the ache and pain away from my tooth.

Lululemon Warehouse Sale

The Lululemon Warehouse Sale

I am a recent devotee of yoga and have been trying to downward dog for about six months now.  I am not a petite little bendable flower so the progress has been nothing if not slow.  I started doing yoga to increase my core strength and hopefully eliminate the occasional back pain that would knock me out for a week or two at a time.  I invested in a very expensive and over-sized mat from Manduka because at 6’6″ tall I had trouble staying within my normal mat boundaries and I have been extremely happy with that choice.  Being a new yogi has put me in touch with the yoga underground and I somehow found my way to a Facebook page dedicated to the Lululemon warehouse sale that was happening in Minneapolis at the convention center.  So it was with a little excitement that I woke up Friday morning and headed off towards downtown in search of a mat for my daughter and maybe a shirt for me.

I am cheap.  I admit it, I am cheap.  I went to the Lululemon sale simply because I wanted to save a few bucks on a high quality mat.  Mats that sell for $68.00 on their web site were going to be $27 at the warehouse sale.  When I was researching mats it came down to Lululemon and Manduka and I ended up with Manduka because they had a lifetime replacement guarantee and being my size I wear things out.  I know that Lululemon sells high-quality clothes so I was off in search of a XXL and tall shirt, if such a creature exists in the Lululemon universe.

Remember how I said I was cheap?  I drove to the convention center the week before in search of free parking.  It turns out there is a ton of free parking by the Minneapolis Convention Center, you simply have to park across the freeway from downtown and walk across the two bridges that frame the Convention Center on the East and West.  While there is indeed a ton of parking it turns out that spaces there are a hot commodity because of the apartments that permeate the neighborhood.  It was early when I got there, about 7:15 AM, so that meant that people who lived in that neighborhood took their cars and headed off to work.  I ended up finding a space two blocks from the Convention Center so life was great!

Lululemon Mania

I walked the two blocks and approached the Minneapolis Convention Center from the West Side.  I entered the building from a side door and found out that I was on the wrong side of the convention hall.  The Sports Show was happening that weekend as well and I ended up walking by a ton of boats and RVs that were there gleaming and taunting.  The convention center is big so it was a long walk to the other side and when I got there I was happy to see that the line did not appear to be too long.  Oh, how Lululemon tricked me on that one!  The line inside indeed was not bad, but what I did not see from my angle of attack was that the line ended at the door and continued outside the door.  I got through the doors and saw that the line snaked down the side of the building and that footprint is large, the line being over a block long at that point.  Alas.  I thought getting there an hour early would be good enough but I was mistaken.

The wait was torturous in so many ways for a guy like me.  The weather was great, so I had no complaints there, but about 90% of the people there were women.  They were lithe and athletic-looking women who looked like they could do any yoga pose without breaking a sweat.  I big guy like me stood out.  Which one was not like the others?  That would be me.  I stood about a foot taller than everyone else in line and I was about double their weight.  I would occasionally see another male soul who was there with his significant other, and I was flying solo.  It took forever, or so it seemed, to even make it inside the building, and once we passed through the doors we were confronted with a maze that took another hour to traverse.  I ended up spending about three hours in line and when I was near the front I ended up getting stopped right before I was to enter the main hall and look for my goodies.  Of course I was.

Lululemon Merchandise

When my time had come I had already seen all of the prices and knew what I wanted anyway.  Lululemon had set up everything by size and the women were like bees attacking their size section and pulling clothes off the racks like it was a Filene’s Basement bridal gown sale.  I did not see any clothes for men.  Since I could not see any men’s clothes I decided to look for a mat first.  There were not any normal mats.

I did see a Lululemon towel mat that was an odd combination of towel and yoga mat, but that did not interest me.  I saw a wispy woman carrying a mat so I asked her where she had found it.  She looked like a deer in the headlights and told me she found it on the floor and she ran away.  I circled the accessories twice looking for mats but I was out of luck.  They did have yoga straps and water bottles, but I did not need those items and even when clearanced, I could find both of those items cheaper at any athletic store in my neighborhood.

I then renewed my search for a top for me.  I am tall and do not have the typical yoga physic so I knew I needed a 2X shirt in a tall size if it existed.  I finally found two little racks of men’s shirts and they too were sorted by size.  I looked at the XXL shirts and had a good laugh because from the looks of the size of the shirt it looked as if it was made for an XXL child.  It ran a wee bit small.

Alas.

I left Lululemon empty in hand and heart.  The line was as long as it was when I got there in the morning and over four hours had passed.  I went home with my dauber down and figured I would just go to Target to find my daughter a mat.  I went online and found two perfectly wonderful XXL tall shirts from Kohl’s so I am happy there too.

I will continue to do yoga and maybe one day too I will be stunning and lithe and look like I wear patchouli oils and sandals and eat tree bark.  I will be ready the next time Lululemon’s warehouse sale comes to town and I will find something to buy, especially if I have to weight four hours in line.  I will still stand a foot taller than most yogis but my heart will be pure and true, even if I am not wearing Lululemon’s fine quality attire.

Namaste.

Mistress Rebecca

I meet Mistress Rebecca

I am a political animal and as so went off to our local Republican caucuses about a month ago.  My neighbor and I signed up to be delegates at the next level so that is where we found ourselves last Saturday on a very cold Minnesota winter morning.  The convention, is that the right word?, the convention started at 9:15 but my neighbor got a call from a man running for a United State Congressional seat asking if she would volunteer and being the good friend that she is, she dragged me along at the ungodly hour of 7:00 AM on that cold Saturday morning.

We made our way to the high school and parked the car and slipped into the relative comfort of a warm high school building.  There was already a lot of activity when we entered and immediately you could spot the politicians amongst us.  How is it that they always stand out from the crowd?  Our guy was not there of course, because he was running for a seat that had conventions state wide, but it was in this point that we got introduced to Mistress Rebecca.

Mistress Rebecca looked like a sexualized fantasy of a dominatrix/librarian.  She was young, maybe in her twenties, and she whore a tight skirt that rode up mid-thigh as well as come fuck me boots that rose just below her knees.  She also had tortoise shell glasses and long brown hair and when she found us she was a stern mistress.  She gave us our orders, we were to do such mundane tasks as hanging signs, setting up tables, handing out literature, and handing out stickers.  She had an authority beyond her young years but right in line with the dominatrix theme she was rocking.

Mistress Rebecca and my neighbor

My neighbor was a little afraid of Mistress Rebecca.  She told me that she scared her.  Mistress Rebecca also had my attention in a kind of sexual/dominating way.  Why the politicians around us glad-handed people and made themselves known, Mistress Rebecca worked in the background, coming up behind us to let us know if we were not handing out stickers correctly (I was not…one is supposed to peel off the stickers and slap them on a shirt or coat.  I did my best to not get arrested for touching the female delegates).  We would be doing our assigned tasks and she would be there.  She commanded a team of four, us and two young kids, and we imagined she had a briefcase in back filled with ball gags and whips and chains and a little leather as well.

Mistress Rebeca was a kind Mistress because she handed out compliments as well.  She would tease you with her words and then give you a little smile.  After we were done handing out stickers and setting up tables, we as delegates were required to sit through eight hours of politics.  During this time Mistress Rebecca had us hand out more literature when it came time to vote for delegates going to the next level.  The Republicans, and I assume the Democrats, have a lot of get togethers before the actual nomination of candidates takes place.  We dutifully obeyed Mistress Rebecca and before we knew it our afternoon was over, we were tired and happy to be leaving.

Saying goodbye to our Mistress Rebecca.

We did not get to say goodbye to Mistress Rebecca.  At the end of the very long eight hour day (you try to stay awake listening to different candidates drone on about the same things in front of a couple hundred adoring fans) our candidate made an appearance.  After he was done speaking, Mistress Rebecca brought him over to meet us.  He was a decent and good guy, and I could tell that Mistress Rebecca was pleased with us.  She smiled and we were filled with her love and devotions.

Aside from Mistress Rebecca I have one other comment that I will expound upon in a later posting.  The Republican party and the candidates love to wrap themselves around God.  They all mentioned their diligent church attendance (I think they are there more than the pastors or priests) and they all mentioned family.  Guns came in third.  I am very pro second amendment but I am a Tea Party guy more than anything else.  I feel like the Republicans need to keep God out of the elections and this is coming from a guy who is a church going man as well.  It gets old.  And we know you love your family and puppies and orphans.  I get that.  What I don’t understand is why you do not want to dismantle the government and cut it down to size.  You would win by a landslide if you did that.

Mistress Rebecca would.  She knows exactly what we need.

An old dog

Tales about an old dog

Dixie (nee Erica) had a tough go of it at the beginning of her life.  When we met her she was in a cage in the parking lot of a local Petco put up for adoption by a Labrador rescue organization.  She was not our first choice because the purebred puppy was gone before we even arrived.  She was our second choice, though, even though she was timid and afraid of her own shadow.  We were told she had been living with a foster family, that she liked to run and that she was potty trained.  We bought a new dog collar and leash and took her home with us a couple of weeks after my daughter’s fifth birthday.  Our first dog, Buttons, had to be put down on my daughter’s birthday.  I digress.

After we got the dog and the paperwork we read through it and found out a bit more information about this dog.  She had lived on a farm.  When they spayed her they found that all her internal organs were bruised from the abuse she took.  We assumed the person who abused her was a man, because most all humans who abuse dogs are men, and that proclivity was manifested in the way she would not come in the same room I was in for two weeks.  She loved my wife, though.

She needed a lot of love to build up trust with us and she displayed new puppy tendencies like chewing up my new $100 dollar running shoes with my new $250 orthopedics that were in the shoes.  For good measure she chewed up my son’s friends new $250 orthopedics after he left his shoes on the ground despite the numerous warnings not to.  She also crapped and peed all over the house leading us to believe that the adoption agency was less than truthful with us.  Alas.

A puppy turns into an old dog

Well when my wife went to pick up one of the poop bombs she left for us on our living room rug, she noticed there were little white bugs crawling around in the fecal matter.  One trip to the vet and pills to eliminate the  worms she had cleared up that little matter.  We were told that when a dog has worms they always feel like they have to go to the bathroom, which explained why she pooped and peed all over the house.  The pills cleared up that little mess and she never again had an accident in our house.

Through time we noticed she had other little habits we had to deal with on a daily basis.  She does not like strangers and does not like men and will in general keep a healthy distance away from them.  She does not like strangers petting her but has never growled or bitten or acted aggressive when this has happened.  Over time she has relented and will sit (although her body language shows us she leans away from the love) and get petted and belly rubs.

She loves my wife.  She sleeps with my wife on her side of the bed….which is a lot of fun with a 70 pound dog.  She sleeps downstairs on the couch when my wife goes out of town.  She waits at night until my wife comes home and is at the garage door when she comes through it.  She does not extend this courtesy to me.  She loves my kids as well, but my wife is the bomb!

She loves to run.  When she was young she would pull hard on leashes, snapping two of them, so that we had to invest in a Gentle Lead leash.  Now her snout has a line where the Gentle Lead runs over it, where she has wore the fur down to nothing from pulling.  She would run and run and not come back for a day or two and there were many nights when my wife would go out looking for the idiot who did not know how good she had it.  She also ran when we let her out to go to the bathroom and we had to invest in a shock collar in order to protect her from running into traffic.

She was my running partner for about ten years, maybe a little less, until she was too old to run.  She let me know by not wanting to run the full route we usually took, by wanting to go home, by making me pull her a bit for parts of the run etc.  The day she could not run with me any longer made me cry because this was a dog who truly was born to run; she thrived on it and loved it and looked forward to it every other day.

Old dogs heading towards a sunset.

The past few years we have noticed she was slowing down.  Labs do not have a long life but she was a mix so who knows?  Right now she is either 13 or 14 (we never got a true age from the adoption place) and she gets an aspirin every morning and every night (tri-buffered for her tummy) and she is on Prednisone for allergies from early to late July until the first hard freeze.  This causes her to bloat up in the summertime.  She cannot jump on our bed with ease anymore.  She cannot jump down off our bed with ease either.  She takes the stairs one at a time.  When she gets up from a nap, and now there are a lot of naps, she moves slow as if frozen in place.

She can only walk every other day or else she gets too sore.  She goes to the dog park sometimes and while the other dogs run and rip past her, she ends up trying to trot, moving at a speed somewhere between a walk and a run.  She has lumps on her body and we really do not want to know what they are because what the hell could we do about it anyway?  She is too old for surgery.

She has come to love me, but not at the same level she loves her mom.  I was the one who always walked her and fed her and took care of her most of the time but I was cat poop compared to her mom.  Wait, she likes to eat cat poop so that analogy may not be apropos.  She does love me in her way and I know she is happy when I am around.

She is getting so old I know she will not last the year.  Like all the other animals in our lives it will be up to me to put her down and I will cry like a baby for a couple of days after.  Dixie had a hard life her first one or two years, but the last 12 years have treated her like the queen she is.  I hope she knows, but she is a dog so who knows for sure what they understand?  I like to think she knows that for twelve years we loved her as unconditionally as she has come to love us.  She knows she was walked or ran whenever we could, almost every day, and that we made sure she was up-to-date on all her shots and things to keep her healthy.  I hope she knows we bought her the best food and the nicest treats we could find.

I hope she knows that when she dies that she will leave a tremendous hole in our lives and our hearts.  I hope she knows she was loved.

The Global Warming Hoax

The hoax that is global warming

It is warm outside.  Global warming.  It is freezing outside.  Global warming.  Hurricanes were predicted to be at an all-time high the past couple of years because of global warming.  Hurricanes were historically low the past few years and this was caused by global warming.  Torrential rains are caused by global warming.  Extremely dry conditions are caused by global warming.

What does the preceding paragraph say?  Every single prediction made about what would happen to the weather because of global warming have been wrong.  The main university studying the phenomenon were caught lying and fudging the data in order to prove their point.  They rely on government grants and tax money to fund their research and governments demand more tax money so that they can save us from global warming the the cycle feeds upon itself.

Global warming is nothing more than a tax grab

What other science claims that a theory is proved no matter what the outcome?  I cannot think of a single one.   Science theory is usually based on the assumption that one action will cause a specific reaction.  Smoking does not both cure lung cancer and cause it.  There is cause and effect.  This is not the case with global warming because no matter what the weather the “scientists” will claim that the cause for that weather was global warming.

Except now it is not called global warming because even the dumbest among us realized that 25 below zero is not indicative of a planet heating up beyond control.  It is now called “climate change” because word matter and the words climate change can mean anything in regards to the weather.

Climate change is nothing more that the biggest lie ever perpetuated upon the world in order that our political leaders and government can take more of our money in taxes in order that they may save the planet from destruction.  This brings to mind a couple of questions, the first being that if the government cannot do even the simplest things correctly like build a simple web site, can they indeed save the planet?  Isn’t it the pinnacle of hubris to suggest that human beings can save anything as massive and impressive as a planet?  The planet does not give a rats ass if we are on it or not and if every single human being died tomorrow it would not know it or care about it.

Climate change is nothing but a bad religion.  You are supposed to believe in light of every single scientific reading and facts contradict your theory.  You are supposed to take a leap of faith;  who are you going to believe, the scientists that scream this is happening or your own lying eyes?

The problem is that because of this scientific scam people are dying and economies are being choked off.  Google to find out how many people are dying each year in Great Britain because they cannot afford the astronomical costs of heat there and contrary to what the prognosticators told us, it is still cold in the winter and people tend to die in the cold.  I would be willing to venture a guess that more people die from the cold that from the heat, but what does it matter if we are saving planet earth?

This administration is attacking coal power plants and anything that is built to create energy that does not have a windmill turbine attached to it.  This means that our energy prices are going to skyrocket and people will die because of this insanity.  It means that states will have regular and reoccurring power outages and black outs.  Creating new and reliable energy sources have allowed the average person in this country to lead a more comfortable life that the richest kings lived only 200 years ago.  We eat cheaper and better (if we want to), we have indoor heat and air conditioning, we have indoor plumbing and hot showers and toilets, and most people do not have to work and toil and struggle to get these fantastic things into our houses.

Quit falling for the fallacy that is global warming or climate change.  We cannot change the weather to any significance and we certainly cannot fix it if it is broken, especially with the Chinese pumping out more pollution than we can even dream.  We can build all the windmills we want but our economy will suffer like Spain’s and Germany.  The Germans have at least acknowledged the errors of their ways and are backing off the clean energy surge.  There is not enough sun in the winter in the northern US to power a lamp, let alone an entire house.  You cannot store any extra energy created by a windmill, plus you kill off hundreds of bird when you build one.  The only clean energy that is truly at our fingertips is nuclear but the environmental nut jobs have got in the way of building newer and safer plants in over 40 years.

It is a bummer being sick

Bummer being sick

I am sick.  I woke up the day before Thanksgiving feeling great and on top of the world.  At 5:00 PM my symptoms appeared, I felt weak, my head was stuffed and my chest was congested.  It felt like the flu was heading my way.  I was extremely disappointed because I did not want to be sick on Thanksgiving, the day when we dine like kings.

The next morning I woke up stuffed up again, but overall I felt a little better!  I was not weak or lethargic, I was relatively healthy.  This made me happy because my appetite was intact and I could go see my family on this holiday.  I was fed great food which I thoroughly enjoyed and by the time I left for home, I was still feeling on top of the world.

I had conned my son into going to Target with my after we got home so I could be in line for the Black Friday deal on the iPad.  I did not care if I was sick.  If I could save $130 (which was actually $160 but that is a longer story) I was going to stick it out in the cold for 3 1/2 hours because I am cheap.  It did not matter if I was sick or not.  The temperatures dropped to 20 degrees or so but we fought back the elements with sleeping bags, dressing in layers and hand and feet warmers.  The result is I had a new iPad to give to my mom for Christmas and I got it at the lowest possible price.

Still sick.

It is five days later and I fear I have the flu.  Being sick is one thing, having the flu really bites ass.  I am thankful, though.  I was thinking about this just now while watching the snow fall outside my window, aware that the temperature is supposed to drop near zero in the next couple of days, and that winter is here with a vengeance.  I am lucky to be sick this day and age.

Think about it.  If you were sick even a hundred years ago odds are you had no central heat to keep yourself warm.  You did not have access to medicine that is fairly effective at keeping the side effects down to a minimum.  You have access to a comfortable bed and comfortable pillows.  You suffer like a dog for a week or so at least, but you do not suffer in squalor.

Throughout the history of man today we live better and more comfortable lives than even the richest Kings did a couple of hundred years ago.  We have better food, better medicine, better shelter, and all these things are cheaper as well.  We get fruits from exotic lands, we do not have to forage for every meal, we have central heat in the winter, and air conditioning in the summer.  We have access to health care and equipment and doctors today know more about the human body than doctors did in the past. Getting sick is not a death sentence anymore and human life span has reached levels not heard of before in human history.

Sick, sick, sick

I was thinking about all of this while I was sick.  I was thinking of all this while complaining and coughing and just wanting to sleep all afternoon.  Good times.  Good times.  So I am off to take a nap because I am tired and sick.  Sick and tired!

The Great Carbon Emissions Scam

The EPA and Carbon Emissions

This past Friday the administration released the news that the EPA would be imposing very expensive mandates that will force coal fired power plants to capture the carbon emissions emitted and bury them back in the ground.  This technology is not perfected yet, who the hell really knows if it works, and the result of this action is that your electricity prices are going to skyrocket.  It is funny how important news that will drastically affect your life is always released late Friday afternoons, isn’t it?

The great thing about the US trying to curb carbon emissions is that we think we can control the weather.  We think we can control the forces of the earth.  We pretend that what were are doing will have any affect on carbon in the atmosphere, at least that is what our leaders want us to believe.  I think, though, that the thinking by our leaders is far more nefarious in that they want to collect the taxes, control our lives even more, and get more and more people dependent on government to help pay their electric bills that will skyrocket.  It is the action of deeply physiologically scarred individuals that want to foist this crap upon us and it is time that we as Americans fight back.

Carbon Emissions throughout the world

The same day the news leaked that the EPA would be punishing the American public, it came out the Germany and Australia are backing away from carbon emissions taxes and their efforts to cut carbon in the atmosphere.  See the article here.  The reasons are self-evident.  The taxes do not decrease carbon in the air and energy prices have soared under this scam.  The policies inflicted on their people made it so that Germany and Australia suddenly cannot compete business-wise with these feel-good taxes.  Unemployment in Germany shot up 10% after these taxes were implemented.  That means in that we here in the U.S. will suffer the same fate when these rules are enforced.

In Germany the green energy initiative has resulted in over 300,000 homes having their electricity cut off because they cannot afford it anymore.  Think about that.  People in Germany cannot pay for their electricity because their leaders, the brightest of the bright, decided that everything they produce in the way of electricity should be “green.”  Never has a greater scam been perpetuated on the world than “global warming” and more importantly, all the money our leaders are going to take from us in an effort to combat it.  And they KNOW they are lying to us.  And they KNOW that global warming is a hoax.  And they know that anything we do will have no affect on the earth.  Yet we keep tilting at windmills.

Why should be surprised?  This president, Our Dear Leader, told us up front that our energy prices would necessarily skyrocket if these carbon emissions schemes were put in place.  He told us that companies would go broke if they built coal energy plants.  We know is is a communist and he wants to destroy this country and the wealth in this country.  Except when it comes to him.  He will get rich as hell off of any scam perpetuated upon us.

Carbon Emissions problems

You know what the biggest problem is with any carbon emissions scam?  We do not exist in a bubble.  The world is round.  China is on the other side of the world and they probably have 50 cities of significant size and each one is more polluted than the other, and we want to pretend like this will only affect them.  I had a friend who just spent a couple of months in China and she said that the capital was the most polluted place she had ever seen.  You could see the soot hang heavy in the air.  Everyone wore masks, and there were all kinds of alerts and warnings being screamed out to the masses.  For any carbon emission scam in the world to work, we would at least have to get every single country in the world to have the same standards, and honestly, that would most likely have no affect either.  Alas.

What to do?  Let’s elect leaders who will eliminate the EPA.  I am tired of their 12,000 new regulations since Our Dear Leader took office.  We did not elect a bunch of bumbling bureaucrats who put in rules so they can justify their own jobs, to control our lives.  We do not need a government employee looking over our shoulder to control every aspect of our lives.  The President’s wife wants to control what food you put in your body.  Think about that for one minute.  How sad is that?

There is no such thing as global warming, the carbon emissions scams are coming at us at a brutal pace, and we are so overwhelmed with misinformation and there are so may major things coming at us on late Friday afternoons, that we have to put an end to these morons that we elect to run our country.  It is time to get rid of big government, it is time to get rid of the EPA, it is time to get rid of the money spent to investigate, i.e. guessing, what the weather will be like in the future.  It is time to take back our country from these pathological idiots.

The Minnesota State Fair 2013

skyride e1378161643434 225x300 The Minnesota State Fair 2013

Minnesota State Fair 2013

The Minnesota State Fair

Once again another State Fair has come and gone which indicates the end of summer to most people in Minnesota.  I went twice, once with my wife and once with my wife and kids, and both days were hotter than hades but that did not dampen our enthusiasm for the State Fair.

I have been going to the fair almost my entire life.  I went there as a young lad when my friends and I took the bus to get there.  I went as a horny teenager looking at all the pretty girls that were there.  I have been going there as a middle-aged man and I went there this past year old enough to join the AARP, if I would ever join that communist organization (that was a joke son!).  The great thing about the fair is that it changes yet it remains the same.  If you read the short story, “A Night at the Fair” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, you will see that things are even the same if you go back to the 1920′s.

My kids had a lot of fun and when we were done they were tired.  We rode all the rides we wanted to ride, which this year was zero, and we all got to eat the food that makes us the happiest.  We watched the salesmen with their patter and we bought a couple of things to take home with us that will absolutely change our lives.  That is the beautiful thing about the State Fair, it gives and gives and gives.

My History with the Minnesota State Fair.

Like I said earlier I have been going to the State Fair forever.  I remember going to get Danielson and Daughter’s onion rings when I was but a teenager.  I remember that his one daughter was so damn cute and I wanted to ask her out.  She is older now, as am I, but going back to the booth brings back fantastic memories.

The night before my wife and I went to the state fair I was thinking of my grandpa.  He only took me to the fair once, and that was with my brother.  I think he was given orders to go because he had surgery earlier in the year and he was told to walk and get exercise by his doctor.  He was also told to give up cigarettes and booze and basically take all the fun out of his life.

Well, he wanted to smoke.  I remember he bribed my brother and I with a Space Needle ride if we would not tell grandma that he was smoking a cigarette.  It was a great deal.  My brother and I got to go on a ride that took us to the top of the world and he got to stay on the ground and smoke.  I also remember he bought us each a couple of Pronto Pups (which are made with a flour coating as compared to a Corn Dog which is coated with a corn-flour coating).  On the sticks, in the part that was covered by the hot dog, there were coupons good for free Skyrides and free rides on the Space Needle.  I remember walking around Machinery Hill with him because he loved the machines and was a gardener.  I would give everything I have to see him again and talk to him; I miss him so much.

Other years I went with friends, but never my mother or father.  We would ride the bus to the fair until one of us got a license.  We would take all of our saved money from mowing lawns and shoveling walks, and we would blow it on seemingly unlimited food and rides at the State Fair.  It was such a fun time.  We ate until we were bloated and in pain.  We would go on rides and I would get dizzy and sick.  Three of us watched, having escaped the House of Mirrors, as my brother thought he had found the exit.  A pleasant look went across his face and he strode confidently right into a clear pane of glass, thus giving himself a welt on his head.

We knew where the cheapest pop was located.  We knew you could drink as much milk as you want at the unlimited milk stand, all for $.25.  We loved to see the animals because we were city kids.  Most of all we loved the girls.  It was so much fun watching and talking to the girls.  My favorite then and my favorite now is the About a Foot Long Hot Dog.  It is a perfectly boiled all beef wiener that comes on a fresh bun and is smothered in fried onions.  It is perfection.  It has remained unchanged, like the Pronto Pups and Corn Dogs, since my entire existence at the State Fair.  It is what makes me come back, it is what fills my kid’s hearts with joy.  To find something unchanged in this world is one of the greatest feelings man can have.

Today at the State Fair.

So what is new at the Minnesota State Fair this year?  Every year new foods get introduced and most of them seem to go by the wayside in a year or two.  There were about ten different food items (like bacon wrapped and bacon in the batter corn dogs), but I did not try one of them.  I tried Australian Battered Potatoes, which is not new, and I was not impressed.  I had a Scotch Egg and I was not impressed and this item used to be my favorite at the State Fair.  I had my About a Foot Long Hot Dog and a couple of Corn Dogs.  I had my onion rings and cheese curds.  I had a Gizmo which everyone raved about at the fair, it has been around forever, and it was OK, but not great.  The one brand new item I did try was Mini Donut Beer.  They had one keg available per day and they tapped it at noon.  We got there about 12:30, got in a short line, and had our small beer (no large beers for this specialty beer).  It was fantastic.  They put a little sugar and brown sugar around the rim and damn if it did not taste like Mini Donuts.

The new item we bought were silicone lids.  These are made to go over most any size container and they do not inherit smells.  They stop leaks if something tips in your fridge, and they apparently can keep odors in if you cover half an onion.  They come six to a pack and they cost $25, or two packs for $40.  We teamed up with another couple and got the discounted price.  We also bought more seal strips, which I reviewed last year, and we bought another chopper/processor.  There is a great article on this particular pitchman and his company in the Minneapolis StarTribune, here.   My favorite pitchman of all is an older gentleman named Larry Scheidt that sells Swiss Peelers.  There is an article on him in a California Newspaper here.

Finally, when we were sweaty and tired, we decided that we had our fill of the Minnesota State Fair.  By the end of the day your body is tired, your legs are tired, and you are sad because you are not going to see the State Fair for another year.  It means it is the end of summer and the start of school for my kids.  It also means a long walk back to the car.  When you are drained from a day at the fair the walk to the car can seem a bit burdensome.  But I would go again tomorrow in a heartbeat, if it were open.  The Great Minnesota Get Together.

 

 

 

 

 

The Newsroom is garbage.

The Newsroom is garbage.

I have watched The Newsroom on HBO since it’s inception and I have come to the conclusion that it is garbage.  It is well-written garbage with snappy dialogue and some interesting characters, but the premise of the show is thin and after a while it gets tiresome watching them bash every Republican on the show while felating the President and Democrats.  The Newsroom is written and produced by Aaron Sorkin, who created and wrote the TV series The West Wing as well as the movies The Social Network and A Few Good Men.  He has a lot of talent.

Now in my political leanings I have been called to the right of Attila the Hun.  I tend to want very limited government and I want to get rid of the political elite who simply love running every aspect of our lives.  Aaron, if I may call him that, Aaron seems to believe that big government is the answer to all our problems and if we simply give them more, more, more, the within months we will be living in Utopia.  So why do I watch the show?  I watch it for the same reason I watch NBC and CNN, to see what the other side is up to.  Besides, like I said previously, The Newsroom is written by a guy who is a very good writer.  Politically is where we part ways.

The Newsroom opening credits, first and second season

The Newsroom’s opening (for season one) shows a bunch of images meant to illicit feeling that the people who work in this fictional newsroom care.  They care about the truth, they care about getting stories correct, they care about big government.  What is in these little vignettes to show their feelings?  First there is the haunting piano music meant to add gravitas to the photos you are about to see.  Next comes a picture of a satellite orbiting earth and photos of Newsrooms past (think Walter Cronkite).  Next they show actual photos of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, the CBS newsroom, David Brinkley,  and then the stars of the actual show.

The Newsroom shows these images being shown on an old TV set where you can see the horizontal lines.  The pictures of the stars of the show are shown in the same manner letting you know that this newsroom is steeped in tradition the same as the old-time news shows.  That is the opening for season one.

Season two tosses out all those old images and they are replaced by the new, modern caring images.  It opens with images of New York City, skyscrapers, a woman holding a coffee cup (coffee seems to represent some sort of intelligence and gravitas;  see my brilliant take on coffee drinking here), a bridge, a train (God how the left love choo-choo trains!  See my article on trains here!), and then shots of the Newsroom.  These shots include clocks representing different time zones, someone speed reading and highlighting The New York Times, because The New York Times is the news, fires and explosions, someone watching the fires and explosions, someone using a Blackberry (who besides President Obama even uses a Blackberry anymore?), coffee again, this time it is spilling over some paperwork, computers and keyboards, and finally several different shots of the Newsroom, the equipment, the people in it, and a lot of monitors.  It is all style at this point, but that is the same of any TV show these days.

The Newsroom characters etc.

Next come the characters in The Newsroom.  The first thing you notice is that everyone is young.  Everyone, that is, except for Jeff Daniels who plays the main anchor, Sam Waterston who plays the news division president, and Emily Mortimer who plays the producer of the fictional ACN newscast.  To complicate matters, Mortimer’s character used to date Daniels’ character and now they are thrust together producing a nightly news show.  Everyone else in the show appears to be twenty-something and all of them appear to be brilliant, hard working, dedicated, and searching for the truth.

Jeff Daniels’ character is the token Republican.  I say token Republican because the words that come out of his mouth have no basis in reality of what a true Republican would say.  The words he utters tend to be a caricature of what liberals THINK a Republican should sound like.  His character seems to take great delight in eviscerating whatever Republican leader or politician has to say on the show.  The Newsroom never goes after the endless stupid and inane things the Democrats do or say.  They do not touch upon the five or six scandals that are sinking this administration (the IRS scandal, the Benghazi scandal, the Obamacare scandal and the voter fraud scandals that seem to cloud this president).  All they focus on is the Republicans, what they say that is wrong, what they did that was stupid, how they are incompetent, how they handle the press, etc.

Every other character, and I mean every one, bleed Democratic blue.  They feel everyone’s pain, they love the administration, they look down upon Republicans as less than human, they tend to look down at Wall Street and business.  They are pithy (OK…alll Sorkin characters are pithy because that is his writing style), they can recite Shakespeare or obscure pieces of music from some esoteric opera, they have that New York attitude that they are better than everyone else, and they care more than anyone else on the planet.  All in all it adds up to a show of caricatures.

It could be so much better.  While the pictures are beautiful, the writing is pretty good (you can still write lines that sound fantastic and the message can be completely off or wrong), the characters are young and fresh, but the end result is nothing.  After I watch each episode I walk away like I ate 1,000 empty calories.  Compare this show to a well-written and meaningful show like Breaking Bad and you will see what I mean.

So I will continue to watch the show to see what the other side thinks and feels.  I will watch it for the high production values.  I will watch it to see which pithy likes Sorkin will re-use from other hit shows (see examples here), and I will watch it because there is nothing else on Sunday nights.  I will, however, walk away feeling empty and unfulfilled.  I just don’t give a damn about their wrong-sided politics or their pithy little problems.  It is hard to care about characters that are caricatures.

I started drinking coffee

Coffee:  It is not just for breakfast anymore!

I decided that at the age of 50 I was going to start drinking coffee.  Not only is getting a coffee a euphemism for going to meet someone to possibly engage in sex, but it seems there is a Starbucks on every corner competing with the Caribou across the street.  A man should have a habit that he can quench without having to travel more than 500 feet.

I have always liked the smell of coffee.  It was the taste that made my face pucker.  My wife drinks it, hell…my daughter drinks it…but I was always a Diet Pepsi man myself.  I used to go through three 24 packs in a week.  I was so addicted to soda that I should have bought stock in Pepsi.  I would be rich today.

One day I decided it wasn’t right.  I quit.  Cold turkey.  I had a pounding headache for a couple of weeks but soon I got to the point where I did not miss it anymore.  I especially did not miss paying $1.25 for a liter bottle.  I did miss the caffeine, as demonstrated by the killer headaches, but I did not miss the rituals.  It is to the point now where the taste of soda is not even remotely appealing.  I conquered my addiction!  Yeah me!

My new Coffee addiction

I went to the greatest source of all knowledge in my house when I decided I wanted to drink coffee.   I went to my daughter.  She suggested I go to McDonalds to get my fix because it was cheap there and they made a great cup of coffee.  So that is what I did.  I went through the drive through and all sizes of coffee were $1.00.  OK, $1.07 after Caesar was rendered what belonged to Caesar.  I got a medium with cream and Splenda figuring I needed to dilute the bitterness that made my face wretch in the past.  I took the coffee home (I know enough not to drink hot coffee in a moving car) and drank the whole cup.  It wasn’t bad.  It is akin to eating dark chocolate…it is bitter at first but once you acquire the taste it appeals to you.

For the past couple of weeks I drop my daughter off at Marching Band practice and then I go off to my local McDonalds and I order a large coffee with two creams and two Splendas.  I am in heaven.  I look forward to the wonderful taste, I look forward to the caffeine high that coffee give me.  I have grown to love the taste and I look forward to demolishing a cup.  I recommend it to anyone.

My Coffee Future

My coffee future is not filled with fancy coffee houses and patchouli oils while wearing sandals.  I can’t see spending more than a buck for a cup of good coffee.  I can’t see getting frapachinos, lattes, exotic blends that travel through bird intestines, or visiting a shop that sells only coffee and coffee related products.  It is just not me.

I do see me making coffee with my wife and drinking a cup every morning.  I look forward to the taste and the jolt of energy.  I may venture into coffee flavored kisses and sing Monkees songs.  I see myself going to a café and ordering a breakfast with coffee.  I see myself writing, smoking heaters and trying to beat a deadline.  If I smoked, that is.  I would take up that hobby but it is too damn expensive.