Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dental visit III, Movie reviews

Well this dental visit was extremely different and made me feel like the bionic man. This bridge idea sounded rather harmless and the way to go, as opposed to the implant things that take thousands of dollars and many months. The whole idea is just to replace two lower teeth and fill the void so I can chew food on both sides of my mouth. God made it that way, so man should be able to copy that. So today was the day to pick up my bridge, walk out with all my teeth or substitutes in place and enjoy my eating. This was also supposed to be a no pain day, which for the most part was. The visit started with the quite time in the chair, except one of the assistants did talk to me and we discussed the ever windy wind, and other fun things. Then they brought this thing in the room, looking like it fell out of the bionic man as he belched when walking by, and stuck it in my mouth. Of course it didn't fit so it had to be forced in, so it could then be forced out to make adjustments on it. It was surprising how tight the fit was since it took all the force and strength the gentle dentist could muster, plus hanging on to my nose and chin at the same time. He finally sighed in relief when it came loose, he made some adjustments on it and put it back in. This time it was up to me and my thumbs to remove it, he said I needed the in office practice and then when I couldn't get it out he would come to the rescue. This guy knows his job, since I couldn't get it out and he did return to do some professional prying. I suggested he furnish small standard screwdrivers or maybe mini pry bars, he laughed and then went to work removing them again. After the adjustment he stuck them back in my mouth and explained it was up to me to get them out this time, and left for lunch. So, the with the dental assistant standing close by with crossed fingers, a small prayer being recited and a worried look on her face I actually pried those suckers out of my mouth. For some reason I felt like I had accomplished something and would be given a gold star. But, I was actually ask to vacate the chair, and leave the office since my appointment was over and told that grown men remove bridges from their mouth all the time. No big deal, they say. On the way out I showed all of the good looking women of the office my new mouth piece, voiced my concern for getting it out of my mouth without their help(at this time I invited all of them to go with me to Memphis, TN for a business trade show this weekend, promised them a visit on Beale Street, some fun, and ask them to bring the tools of their trade, in case the bridge got stubborn, they all laughed/accepted but they really knew it was all a hoax and encouraged me to vacate the office), set my next appointment for more adjustments and left. As I was driving down the street I started reflecting on the little accessories I have to keep up with now just to do normal functions, i.e. when not wearing my hearing aide I have to put it in a special pouch and turn off the battery, when not wearing my new bridge I have to clean them and put them in a plastic container, then when I am out in the sun I need my sun glasses, but when I am reading I need my reading glasses, then when I do the computer stuff I need another set of glasses, then when I ride my Hog I must wear the leathers for warmth, the helmet for protection and fill the damn thing up with gas or it won't run, and my special sunglasses just to look cool. Oh the sacrifices we make just to get through a day. This is not to mention the other things we must have, i.e. the laptop, the cell phone, the dvd player, the tv, and on and on! All of this stuff helps us function I guess, but also while it was supposed to make life more simple it has become more complicated. So be it and for those that say life is better than the alternative, I say, maybe not if you believe in re-incarnation. Get it??

Movie reviews: "The Astronaut Farmer" ****, this a good movie. Billy Bob Thornton is a very good actor and does a great job as a former astronaut who never went into space. His dream is to build his own rocket and go into space. Go see it and see if he makes it. Feel good movie is a good description. "The Number 23" *, sorry about that but this is one depressing movie, for no good reason. Jim Carrey is a very good actor, but is so wasted in this movie. If you are not depressed before you go to this movie, you will be by the time it concludes. The newspaper review in it's description said: Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language. It should have also stated, depressing.

The Academy Awards were this weekend with a few surprises. Most of the films I had seen but some I hadn't, so will catch up on them when I can. "The Departed" was a big winner and I totally agree with that. It was a very good movie, go see it if you haven't.

Off to Memphis, TN for some business,


Friday, February 23, 2007

Zipper guys, go figure, Movie review, Where are they and who are they in USA Triathlon world?

The latest on the zipper down boys is that there will be no formal charges brought against them for their brash attempts at exposing themselves to the ladies of the Hub city. The real culprit here is the establishment manager who just failed to follow the instructions and orders of the law. If he had secured a legal permit, that is required for this type(they don't call it the bible belt for nothing) of entertainment in Lubbock, nothing would have happened and we would have many happy females. Turns out that the police were called in to observe, since there was no permit. Then when one of the dancers thrust his man shaft into the face of one of the lady patrons, the pistols and hand cuffs came out with arrests being made immediately. After reading all of this stuff for the past 3 or 4 days I have decided that this was done by the establishment manager so that the next time they bring these swinging hips to Lubbock the numbers to pre-register will more than double. It appears to be another tactic of using the sensational methodology of getting the public attention. Examples on the national scene are the obnoxious episodes by Donald Trump, Rosie, Britney, and the extreme of Anna Nicole Smith. In today's paper the guilty manager of the sports bar says, "we are bringing the zipper boys back." I am sure that after that announcement ticket sales will go sky high, and the $20,000.00 in promised refunds will be deferred someway. Go figure!

Movie review: "Ghost Rider" *, There are very few times when I totally agree with our local critic; and this is one of them. Such excellent acting talent down the drain with no logical story line, ridiculous dialogue, and action scenes that looked so fake(of course they were, but with today's technology even the Titanic looked like it was sinking) it made you want to barf in the popcorn. With the likes of Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Sam Elliott, and Peter Fonda how can you go wrong. Somehow they did!! Then the ending made it evident that they will have a sequel. Usually the sequels to a good movie are disaster, in this case the sequel can reverse the first disaster. The story line has potential, a deal by the hero is made with the devil for immortality purposes(see that has potential), then the devil reneges(the devil does that all the time), then the hero figures out how to get out of the deal(heroes usually do this in movies), so the devil will now try to get back at the hero at every turn. To be continued in the sequel. Due to my inquiring mind I will attend, since I have got to see if they can muster up something worth seeing or just fall flat again.

Some stuff from the triathlon world: When was the first recorded triathlon in the Olympic Games and what were the three events. Gotcha on this one because you said, "hey dummy, triathlon debuted as an Olympic event in 2000 in Sydney, Australia." Good guess and partially right; however, in the 1904 Olympic games there was an event called triathlon that consisted of long jump, shot put and 100 yard dash. Who was the first triathlete in the United States and where is he today? The answer to that is really just a wag(wild a.. guess), but I would bet on Mr. Walt Stack. This guy started swimming, riding the bike and running, way before it had a name, in the San Francisco Bay area. He was still doing this work out into his 80's. It is estimated he had completed over 300 marathons(I ran the Clovis, NM marathon with him one year) and also the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii(he actually holds the longest finish time record of 27 hours, which will always stand, since there is a cutoff time now of 17 hours). Mr. Stack passed away at the ripe old age of 88, a few years ago. Who are the guys that were originally called the four legends of the sport and where are they now?(Answer for next time)

For today,


Monday, February 19, 2007

Lubbock makes CNN, again! Movie review, Misc.

Well ole Lubbock made the CNN news again. This time it was not Coach Knight giving a love pat to one of his players, but the anticipated love pats of the many love starved women(assumed) of Lubbock. With an effort to offer something different to the women of our city, a local sports bar offered the services of the Chippendales dancers over the weekend. While there were very professional ads placed in the paper and many advanced tickets sold, the owner of the bar forgot one thing, THE PERMIT REQUIRED BY THE CITY TO PUT ON "SEXUALLY ORIENTED PERFORMANCES." While city officials say that the public has been made aware of this ordinance and the owner of the sports bar was made aware of it, he really never made an effort to secure one. Seems like a strange business decision to me, to take in over $20,000.00 in advanced sales and not secure the correct legal documents required by the city. This sports bar is not located on the outer limits of the city, but on one of the highest traffic streets in the city. The owner also showed his arrogance towards the ordinance by stating that the Chippendales performance did not represent a sexually oriented performance. Since when, I thought this was the whole idea? Why would women buy an advanced ticket to go see a bunch of fully dressed men do the two step or better still, square dance. Let's put a spade where a spade goes, just buy the permit and have the performance. Insiders that were at the performance told me that one of the dancers did actually show his man shaft to the adoring public, that is when it got ugly and the performance was shut down. Not only did they shut it down but they arrested the dancers, the manager and carted them off to the local jail. I sure hope they let them get dressed since the jail is probably not a safe place for nude male dancers. But, who am I to say, I never been there, done that!! They were brought in the violation of a Class C misdemeanor, and no bail was posted since there were no formal charges made. But they did have to stay one night in jail and then were released the next day. Bet, they were singing, "my best view is Lubbock in my rear view mirror" all they way back to their home state. While I have to agree that the smart thing for the manager to have done, would have been to buy the permit, simple as falling off a log. So, inquiring minds will want to know and I don't have the answer, but will do everything I can do to find it. In the meantime there must be women all over Lubbock in some kind of frustrating situation, again I don't know first hand but would just guess at this assumption.

Movie review: "Hannibal Rising" *****, excellent movie about how and why Lecter became an infamous serial killer. Unknown actors to our screen, but very good. Gaspard Ulliel plays Lecter. Must see, but be warned, it is bloody. But you would expect that from a serial killer who likes to eat the throat out of his victims or cut their heads off(makes for a good trophy).

So much for this morbid stuff. Coming up in the future, will be "Where are they now?" This will deal with some of the early triathlon folks and where they are now. For example, where is the first executive director of USA Triathlon(then Triathlon Federation) and how is he doing? This topic has been recommended by one of my loyal and faithful readers.

For today,


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Grocery shopping, Dental visit, Valentines, Movie Reviews

As I looked down at my grocery list I realized that the first item was not something I recognized. It just said, "Pam" and that didn't compute. So, now my thoughts were on one of my past girl friends(bm time, before Marti), named Pam and maybe she had called or for some reason ended up on this grocery list. Since I didn't write the list, Marti did, I sure didn't want to call her(besides I do not allow my cell phone inside the grocery story, just common courtesy so I won't disturb other shoppers, not that others care since they do it all the time) and say something like, "did Pam call today?" I decided that this adventure was all mine and I had to determine if this was really something I was supposed to buy or if Pam(ex-girlfriend) had called and wanted some advice, on life. As I scooted through the store I found everything else on the list but no Pam. Now I was wondering why she would be calling since she was at least 6 girlfriends bm, and I knew she had married. Oh well, now I have found all of the items on the list except dear old Pam(actually a very good Ironman athlete), so I will have to resort to actually asking someone where the Pam is. I decided to ask the nearest super market guy I could find, and sure enough there was one very close and even had the t-shirt on that said, "super market guy." With great hesitation, but determined to find the answer or Pam whichever comes first, I ask meekly, "sir, where is the Pam?" He said follow me and within minutes we were staring at the Pam containers standing at attention on the top shelf just one aisle from where I was. Now, I remember, Pam is that stuff you spray on cooking pans, etc., to keep everything from sticking. This was not about ex-girlfriend Pam, but about the rib eye steaks Marti was going to cook for supper. Got it, but of course it can't be that simple, now I notice there are at least 6 choices of Pam. Turned out, pot luck, I just shut my eyes and picked the right one. Actually just used a little common sense, when it described the product as something to spray on the surface where you are cooking steaks, you dummy you! This grocery shopping is exciting, just can't wait till the next time!!! NOT!!! Give me something simple for a change!

Now for the fun part, my every other week to the dentist. Good thing I like them or this would get old, but the good news is there has been no pain stuff. Yea I know, hard to believe, like the Normandy invasion with no gun fire. But since my gentle dentist(Dr. Jay Adkins) is doing addition on me instead of subtraction I shouldn't have any pain. Also, since I am making them rich and famous by mentioning them on this infamous blog site, the pain must be passed on to those who don't make them rich and famous. But this office is really a neat dental office, and the dental assistants are very pleasing to the eye and very gentle with old men(sorry you younger turks, but we more mature adults have earned our position in society that demands respect and care). While I still don't think I am of the age to be considered a dirty ole man, I am not sure what catergory I am in. Guess I will let them figure that out. At any event they had to stick that cement in my mouth again to get the imprint of the bottom right hand portion of my teeth. This is painless but kind of weird, since you have a little trouble, breathing and swallowing and then they rip your nose off trying to get it out of your mouth. Then the ole stuff is all over you and you must wash and spit! Then I am excused to go the "pay the bill, do not pass go, do not collect the usual $200 thing, and make the next appointment." In my last post on the dentist visit I mentioned a very attractive lady who strong arms you for the dough, well that is Colene and she does it very well. But, since I have insurance she just smiles real big, makes my next appointment and bids me farewell. My next visit is February 24 and then I get my new teeth, I will now be able to chew on both sides. These new teeth are guaranteed to match my old teeth, don't know how they get 68 year old teeth to match, but they do. As I leave the office and get in my Explorer I am reminded of my first dentist that I had in Lubbock over 40 years ago. This guy was the classic dentist, wearing the solid white smock, looking very grim, and dealing out lots of pain. His nurse looked the same way, and wore the traditional nurse uniform. The weird thing is that when he would get ready to stick the needle in me, he and the nurse would stand side by side about 3 feet from me staring me down. Then, with the long needle in his right hand resting on his left hand, and his faithful nurse standing right beside him, he would say, "this is going to hurt." The nurse would then shake her head in an up and down position meaning, "yes the doctor is right, it is going to hurt." The odd thing about this is that the damn thing did hurt, the weren't kidding. It is so nice now that we don't have to be filled with pain anymore to enjoy our friendly dentist and they don't wear those morbid looking white smocks anymore. Welcome to the new world of pain free dentistry!!!

On one of my previous bloggs I had mentioned that there are too many holidays in our country, 38 to be exact. While Valentines day is not on par with Christmas, New Years, banks closed, all government offices closed, type holiday, it has become something big in the eyes of many. So to celebrate this day of hearts we decided to go see Doug Smith play the piano. Now that is a treat, no matter the time of year or holiday. This guy plays the piano like Tiger Woods hits the golf ball, beyond belief. To further illustrate the comparison, Tiger and Doug started their professions at the same age, 2 years old. Yes Tiger hit the golf ball on the Johnny Carson show at age two, and Doug started playing the piano at age two. He is a West Texas boy raised in Kermit, Texas. He still resides in West Texas but plays throughout the USA. If you ever have a chance to see him, DO IT!! He is awesome!!

Movie reviews(Disclaimer: I know my readers think that all I do is write my blog, go to movies, and generally goof off, but this is not the case, since many of my movies are watched while riding the trainer, early in the morning or at night, the other times I go to a movie on my way home from swimming, so there you have it): "Walk The Line" *****, watched this again on DirecTV, this is the story of Johnny Cash and June Carter. Juaquin Phoenix plays Cash and this is a spectacular performance. Phoenix had never sung before and actually studied the Cash songs, took lessons and did all of the singing himself. He sounded so much like him it was hard to believe it was not a voice over. Reese Whitherspoon played Carter and also did an outstanding job. Whether you like country and western music or not is beside the point, it was an outstanding movie. They were both married to other people when they met, then eventually were married for 35 years until their deaths, only 4 months apart. "Stone Cold" ****, on DVD while I was riding the bike trainer. This story stars Tom Selleck and Mimi Rogers. It is about a former burned out big city cop(Jesse Stone, played by Selleck), who moves to be a small town cop in Paradise, Massachusetts. He also adapts well with the young beautiful thing in town, just to show us he is human. Drama develops quickly with a gang rape in the high school and the beginning of a series of killings. So, two stories going at once, with officer Stone to the rescue. Great drama, great serial killer story, and great ending. "The Messengers" *, grabbed this one on the way home at Tinsletown, one of those horror movies where family from city moves to country to haunted house. Boy, these stories never change. Typically the ghost family is after the someone who killed them, so takes it out on the innocent new owners. Good news is that the new owners survive, and the bad ghosts are put away. Don't waste your time on this one, I did and can say DON'T DO IT!!

For tonight,


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Dentist or Dental Assistant visit, Riding the Hog, Movie Review

Today was another visit to the dentist day, but nothing painful happened. This visit was for the purpose of creating me a bridge for the lower right hand side of my mouth(yea I know it has some kind of funky sounding dental medical term, but I don't know what the terms are, so you get the message)and then I can chew serious food(nuts, steak, fruit, etc.) on this side of my mouth. Now I have to chew on my left side, do the serious chewing, then transfer that mushy stuff to the right side of my mouth for the final wrap up, before the ultimate swallow. I have been getting along with this dilemma for the past year, simply because my insurance would not cover it until this time of year, so being the tightwad that I can be at times, I decided to wait for the insurance happening. The main problem with it is that the left side has a cap on the lower whatever you call it and due to the increased volume of activity on this tooth, it invariably comes off at some point. The problem is that it always comes off on a weekend trip to somewhere USA, but not Lubbock USA. So, I go to Walgreen and get me some of that tooth glue and stick that sucker back on. It usually lasts for a couple of weeks, then comes off again. Kind of a pain in the butt but gets me by until the dentist visit. Now back to my story, I go into the early appointment, 8:00 a.m., and with great anticipation I wait for the announcement, "Mr. Greer, please follow me to the pain center(just joking, she actually said, please follow me to the first room on the left). This Mr. Greer thing really bugged me, generally when they say something like that it means a couple of things: 1. She doesn't know me and in lieu of Mike or Greer(I generally go by my last name), she is just being polite or 2. She is very aware that I am old as dirt and she had better call me Mr. or 3. The pain will begin in a few minutes, so sit your butt down Mr. Greer and endure it or 4. She is just a real nice young lady who is trying to keep it very professional in the dental office(I vote for this alternative). She then explains that she will be taking imprints on my right lower whatever. What that means is that she will be putting this gu like stuff in my mouth, then letting it dry, then pulling it out. This stuff is amazing as to how it dries so fast and how hard it is to pull out. She nearly had to use my nose to leverage this stuff out of my mouth, and she did use my chin. No pain, but did make me wonder what the imprint would look like. She then showed it to me and I was impressed, one hellavu imprint. Now remember I said this was a dentist vist, but alas, I hadn't seen the dentist yet and I am going on 1 hour. Lo and behold my dentist( a really nice guy) shows up with his dental smock, his pair of glasses with the extension vision things on the glasses and he looks into my mouth. Yep, he confirms that my teeth are missing, that I need a bridge, then mumbles some dental medical terms to the nice assistant and he is outta there. Upon his instructions she now takes another impression on the lower right, tells me to wipe my mouth off and get the hell out of the chair(not really I just made this up to make the story sound kind of salty)and get on with my life. I then leave the chair to face the music of the bill and scheduling my next appointment. This is really the good news, they don't require me to pay up front since I have a reliable insurance. So, the receptionist gives me that great smile(very attractive lady if I say so myself)waves me past the pay the bill stall and schedules my next appointment. In the meantime I will continue to chew on the left, shift the food to the right, then swallow(my mother always use to say that I must chew my food 20 times for optimal good health, and I know I don't but probably 10 times, so does that mean I have 50% optimal good health)? Who knows for sure? What a life and I go back on the 15th for more dental stuff. As I was leaving I heard him say something about a possible tooth removal, so my next visit could mean that little needle that sticks in your gums, deadens your mouth, nose, chin, lower nose, etc. Then you walk out with not feeling in your face wondering if this is what it feels like to have a stroke or what. Can't wait!!!

With the past month being total bad weather riding the Hog was impossible. So, with 70 degree, sunny weather today I hit the roads with the Hog. WOW!! that is a good thing and did I enjoy it or what? Yep, I enjoyed it!! I put the leathers on, rode into town for a board meeting, grabbed a sandwich, then went to the big Hog house. It is amazing how you can ride these things for years, but still like to gaze at the new ones waiting eagerly for their new owner. You see, Hogs want to be out on the road with their owner. They do not want to be sitting in that stuffy old show room, just shining. They want to go fast, make noise, draw attention, exceed the speed limit and just show off a little(maybe a lot) bit. I talked to the owner for a long time and told him I had purchased 7 motorcyles over the past 9 years and would likely purchase another one within the year. This is the thing about motorcycles, one is just not enough and the same one for long periods of time, just doesn't work either. Watching men look at motorcycles reminds me of looking at men watching the opposite sex. It is a spell bounding sort of look, and can take your mind off of all concentration and put you in real la la land. When we make the trip to Sturgis, with 500,000 others it is about the ride, and the look. Nothing like it, and if you have to ask why, you will never understand the answer. Can't wait to crank it again, maybe tomorrow!

Movie review, "Because I Said So," ****, excellent movie staring Diane Keaton as the over protective mother of three grown daughters. She is a single mom just around the corner from turning 60. Two of the daughters find mates and marry, while the third just can't seem to get it. So, mom jumps in to find the perfect mate. While we know some of the results are obvious and predictable Ms. Keaton really plays the part and makes us believe this is really happening. During the process she solves some of the problem by accidentally finding a man(for herself) that puts her in orgasmic la la land. Her unmarried daughter also finds two men(sleeps with both of them, yea I know men usually do this), so she must decide between the two. Great movie for all, and not just a girlie movie. With a rating of PG-13 it had some sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material(Ms. Keaton male friend on top of her in a sexual position, with no nudity, but you get the picture). Also, partial nudity according to the newspaper review. I must have dozed, I saw no significant skin exposure. Go see it anyway, for good nudity you can go see "Smokin' Aces," already reviewed.

Tiger wins his 7th in a row, going for the record held by Lord Byron of 11 PGA golf tournaments won in a row. This guy is so good at golf he is like from another planet.

Bowling tomorrow night, have missed two weeks in a row, will be there for sure to captain the team.