Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grieving a lost molar

Monday I had a molar extracted from my mouth.I have spent my whole life maintaining my smile. Frequent trips to the dentist when I was younger were common place. I never had to wear braces because I was told that if you don't stick you tongue in the space where the tooth came out, your teeth won't come in crooked.I believed that advice.

I used to have mercury fillings, but as an adult I had all of them removed. My health and well-being improved considerably.I have three teeth with gold caps, one porcelain, and have had an assortment of surgical procedures including three root canals and a periodontal scaling.One of the root canal treatments was botched. Dr. Scott did not remove the whole root and over time the pain came back whenever I bit down on my left side.

Eventually the tooth got infected and the dentist told me that I had a choice to make. Live with it, or have it extracted and replaced with an implant. I again, put the matter on hold figuring that I would just tolerate the pain and would have it taken out when the pain became unbearable.Well, that happened. Dr. Politz from Napa's Oral and Maxillofacial clinic had the job of removing the tooth.

Later, I was given a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers.As it turned out, I only took one painkiller and have nineteen pills left over.I don't know what to do with them.If I flush them down the toilet the will leech into the water supply.My plan is to return them to the pharmacy an let them deal with them.

Today i have a gaping hole where my molar used to be.I will have to wait six months before being considered for implant surgery. Great. Well,that will give me time to save up three grand to have it done.I still miss my molar.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Hard Work and Manifestation

I like to shop for supplies to add to my Rock Painting business.Going to the beach used to be a regular sojurn. Traveling from Calistoga to Jenner is usually a day well spent. I get out of town, take a relaxing ride to the coast and I spend time in a secluded area to commune with nature.This is where I recharge my creative batteries so to speak. Many times I will find a rock or several rocks to use in my craft.

Returning home, I will have stopped at several art stores to pick up other supplies that I would use. Stickers, paint, brushes, glue, glitter and types of paper are just some of the items I am always in search of;To make something individual and unique. The work is usually the most enjoyable part of the creative process, but that depends.

Today, I purchased a magazine called "Fructose" which contains stories about artists like myself. I read things of this nature, and go to museums and galleries to support the culture from which i draw these ideas. The ideas are the components, not the media which I use to bring them into being.The ideas fuel the fire which drives creative expression. Otherwise, I am just practicing... always practicing.This is true especially when their is no clear idea where or how an idea will manifest, and thereby move this whole process forward.

Friday, April 03, 2015

A Good Friday

Today is Good Friday and it's already off to a good start. I've made a bank deposit and have paid the rent. Now I only have to pay my quarterly taxes and I will be able to breathe a little easier, at least until next month. I am going to the 12pm services at the church I attend, and plan to keep silence for three hours ( yes, it is possible ! ) Then I will have a nice lunch and go for a bicycle ride to Bothe State Park. All in all a great way to spend the day in Calistoga.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Getting away with bad behavior

I've been a roque and charlatan in my past, and I usually have paid for this nonsensical behavior somehow, some way. If not immediately, then down the line. When I was young, taking stupid risks was a way of establishing "Street cred" or at least having "Cajones". It was important then to be something more than a dweeb or non-entity amongst like-minded delinquents.Activities ranged from throwing a party when your parents are out of town, to petty larceny or sneaking into a movie theater without a ticket. 

Keep in mind that adults are not immune from this type of behavior ,or setting someone up to act it out for them. At times, all that is needed is a simple dare to propel one into performing in this unconscious way.Other times, all we need is to dare ourselves. Impulsivity usually plays an important role in when and how these deeds are carried out.

A case in point when, as and adult, I recently decided to beat the morning traffic by jumping onto the car pool ramp that leads to the toll plaza of the Oakland Bay Bridge. I queasily passed the signs that urged me over and continued right to the toll gate. There I saw a light flash, logging my transponder as I passed through. Then nothing happened. I proceeded across the bridge into San Francisco.

Today, I sit silently grimacing at the thought that I may have been caught. The fine would be well over two hundred dollars. I was wrong and I knew it. Why did I do it? The simple answer has always been that I thought I could get away with it. I no longer subscribe to this way of thinking, nor do relish this behavior. In fact, I find it deplorable. If I am issued a ticket, I will pay it and vow never to do that again. 

The consequences of this type of behavior were not taken into account. Is it that I think that I am different, or that the law does not apply to me? No. If anything, it is a carry over from my youth where I found it necessary to assert my independence, away from what I perceived were those oppressive, authoritarian autocrats. People I disdained, just by virtue of the fact that they easily took it upon themselves to tell me how to behave.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Running Buddies

Nancy and Sandy are the sweetest, most fun-loving women you would ever have the pleasure of knowing. We met up again at our friend Dan McGill's memorial service last Wednesday. Dan was the catalyst for our excursions throughout the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate park and Mt. Tamalpais. He would give us a call in the morning and tell us where and when to meet, and off we'd go on a four to six mile run. We would usually have a nice coffee clach at the end of our run where we would share ribald stories and unique viewpoints.

Nancy and Sandy have a real down-to-earth way about them, which makes them both attractive in their own special way. Sandy is living in Mexico now, and travelled all the way to be at Dan's service. A true friend, indeed. It was great seeing both of them and I hope that we will meet sometime soon in the near future. We are all accomplished marathoners and natural endorphine junkies. Because of this fact, May we all live long and prosper.God bless you Nancy and Sandy... and of course, Dan.

Here's a video of another old codger that we knew who inspired us.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bike Riding in the Napa Valley

I must say that having a bike to get around is a lot of fun, great exercise and saves on gas. Lately, I've been riding to meetings, to church and to the grocery store to pick up a few small items and have been enjoying every minute of it. Last week I drove from St. Helena to Calistoga (14 miles round trip) and was returning just after sunset. Recently, I have recognized how important it is to be seen on a bike and how for a few dollars you can equip your bike with some necessary safety features like a blinking headlight and taillight. I also have purchased a small bell to warn walker/runners when I am approaching.

Just when you are heading south on Washington street in Calistoga, you will run into a great bike path which takes you all they way to Dunaweal lane. You will pass by vineyards, a glider port, a duck and goose sanctuary, a model airplane field, a little league diamond and several small ponds. It is easy to cover a five miles stretch in no time and come back home feeling refreshed. Below is a small pic along the route I recommend.

My Wheels...

Friday, January 30, 2015

Scary Nice Weather

That is the best way to describe the weather this January. Every week has been more and more beautiful. The sun has been shining , the birds are chirping and the mustard is already in bloom. In other words, it's been scary nice weather. The central and east coast have been experiencing scary "not so nice" weather. New York city just escaped a major snow drop; probably the biggest in history. I hear this as I pour another lemonade, and prepare for a little bike ride through the vineyards.We Californians don't know how good we've got it. We have no right to complain about any fog, wind or inclement weather that has befallen us in the past two years. Make that five. I am very grateful to be living in the lap of luxury and still able to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach. Only the grace of God could manage this. Below is the entry to the "Castle of Love" only a few miles from my home.