It was the 4th of August

consult your tax advisor

keysAll of these events took place on the 4th of August. Or maybe one was on the 3rd. I’m retired, so the days blur…

I went to my dentists’ new office, inconveniently (for me) located in Loudonville, which is a suburb of Albany. The previous office was in downtown Albany, which required me to walk one block, take the #10 Western Avenue bus, then walk another block. Getting to the new place involved a bike ride, a bus ride (#125) to avoid the I-90 interchange, then a ride on Osborne Road, which is uphill almost all the way.

Alternatively, one could take the bus to frickin’ Corporate Woods (#737), but it runs at rush hour, but sparsely during the day.

I find the place – I THINK it’s the place, as the signage is unclear – but there’s the familiar receptionist. My dental hygenist took pictures of my teeth, which showed deterioration from the films taken 18 months ago. My former dentist was going to take some ameliorating actions in March or April of 2020, but then COVID. Then he retired. Bottom line, I’m blaming my cavity on the pandemic.

Klyuch is “key” in Russian

My daughter found a pair of keys. A tag from a fitness center less than a mile away was attached to the ring. So I rode my bike over to return them.

At the light, just before my destination, I heard a bunch of motorcycles, colorful, relatively lightweight ones. Four of them to my left in the two lanes, waiting, as I was, for the light.No big deal. But then another rider passed me on the right, and a compatriot rode in front of me then stopped, as the light changed.

I’m more puzzled than nervous. Then another rider flicked their hand, which was apparently a signal to let me pass. Hmm. Another dozen or more rode by me, many of them doing wheelies.

I return the keys to the center, which the guy at the desk, appreciated, and I went home. Should I have been nervous about the bikers? Did I get a pass because I’m an old black man? I dunno.

For the love of money

I’m rich, I tell you, rich! I received this email:

Google Plus Profile Litigation has sent you $2.15 USD.

Note from Google Plus Profile Litigation:

“This is your settlement payment as a Class Member in the Google Plus Profile Litigation, held in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. This settlement payment has been calculated in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Order Granting Final Approval of Class Settlement, Awarding Reasonable Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Service Awards; and Entering Final Judgment which are located on the settlement website

“If you have questions regarding this payment, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at If your questions are regarding the tax treatment of this distribution, please consult your tax advisor. We cannot provide individual tax advice regarding this distribution.”

Oh, geez. It hadn’t occurred to me the tax implications of this payment, which I received via PayPal. I’d better contact my accountant right away, and sock some money into an escrow account.

August health report: root canal

I was pretty uncomfortable, living on antibiotics and extra-strength pain relievers, which provided only a modicum of actual relief.

On Wednesday, August 16, I had a scheduled appointment with my dentist first thing in the morning to fix a chipped tooth. But a couple nights earlier, I started to experience severe pain elsewhere, in tooth 19, for those of you keeping score.

So my dentist called an audible and had X-rays done. He saw nothing. I mean, he saw the tooth, but he couldn’t see anything wrong. So his office set me up to see an endodontist at 2:40 p.m. to fix it, find more info here.

At 12:20 p.m., I got a call from the orthodontist’s office office asking if I could come in earlier, say 1:10. And I could have caught a 12:25 bus and gotten there. But I said “no” because I wanted to finish the reference question I started, and instead kept the original appointment.

Unfortunately, they were running late. While there was time to take the pictures of my tooth, with much more detail – think an MRI, though that’s technically incorrect – there wasn’t time to do the necessary root canal. And the next opening wasn’t until August 31.

So I was pretty uncomfortable, living on antibiotics and extra-strength pain relievers, which provided only a modicum of actual relief. I muddled through work and a five-day vacation in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

What I discovered is that some food was OK – the obvious soft foods such as apple sauce and eggs. Cheese and sliced tomatoes were OK, if I ate them on the other side of my mouth. But some foods, such as broccoli and lettuce and raisin bran had the annoying habit of drifting to the wrong side of the mouth. MISERY!

Finally, the day of the procedure came. It’s not nearly as painful as it apparently was a generation ago. And while I was tired afterwards, and the mouth was sore from the manipulation, pain from the infection went away almost instantly. I still need to go back to my primary dentist to get the tooth capped. Visit this site if you have dental problems.

I’ll admit I now regret my customer service orientation at work that, as it turned out, cost me two weeks of unnecessary pain.

Family health report, July 2017: hammer toes

You start to feel better and you inevitably overdo.

The big story this summer is that the wife had surgery on the three middle toes on July 5. She had hammer toes. She didn’t have to do it now, but eventually, without being corrected, it might impact her mobility as she gets older.

The surgery was very successful. Her response, in terms of limited swelling, et al, was very good, her doctor told her at every followup visit.

One of the things we have both discovered, with my hernia surgery a couple years ago and her recent surgery, is that the cycle of pain is quite fascinating. Right after the surgery, when you get home, you feel really great. The anesthetic has not yet worn off.

Then the pain starts to creep in, and you better start taking that opiod right way, because if you decide to tough it out, it will take longer to get relief. But the prescription lasts only a couple days. It’s less than what you want, and you start taking the over-the-counter stuff, and for longer that you think, hopefully without ruining your liver.

You start to feel better and you inevitably overdo. The Wife is even worse in this regard than I. When she walked too much, and didn’t put her foot up, she is surprised how much it still hurts three or four weeks on.

Meanwhile, I chipped a tooth, for which I’m getting a filling on August 13. More significantly, both in terms of time, pain, and money, I’m getting a crown on September 13.

The Daughter noticed a mark in the whites of my right eye at the end of the month. It was a vertical red line that looks as though someone had drawn it with a Sharpie. The very next day, I went to my ophthalmologist, who said it was a broken blood vessel, and that it would resolve itself. It looked much worse than it felt.

Living on Anbesol and Advil

The music group called Big Daddy (loved by many, including me) is staging a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 to produce their new album.

As mentioned, I had a root canal a couple of weeks ago, and the pain was far less than the last one I had some 15 years ago. But then I had to have some work done on another tooth, and the mouth discomfort after that one was mighty steady; not a sharp pain, but a constant ache, for which I was surviving on certain medicines.

And it was not great timing. Last weekend, the daughter didn’t have soccer, but the Wife and I did have a wedding to go to, a co-worker of hers who I didn’t know to a guy I knew just as well. The service was at 2 pm in Niskayuna, in neighboring Schenectady County, and it was lovely. The reception wasn’t until 5 pm, in Altamont, in Albany County, a 30-minute drive, so we did what we needed to do; we went grocery shopping. Talk about being overdressed for an activity.

The reception was at a place called the Appel Inn; our friends Marc and Janna had their reception there in November of 1999. We sat with one of the bride’s and my wife’s teaching colleagues, and her husband, neither of which I knew, but they were a delightful couple. But somewhere during this, the throbbing returned and having no over-the-counter solutions, I tried Southern Comfort and 7-Up; singularly unhelpful.

After church on Sunday, we drove to Schenectady to meet my sister Leslie’s bus. She had flown from San Diego, CA to Charlotte, NC back in late September to go to a conference, and visit our sister and niece; then flew to New York City, and visited relatives and a friend; then took a bus to Binghamton, NY to do genealogical research and to attend her high school reunion; and finally to Schenectady.

We are at some downtown restaurant called Bombers, and I saw that the New York Giants football team (my team) was already down 14-0, after only five minutes in the game; sigh. They ended up winning 41-27. But I didn’t see it.

We went to see the 2 pm stage performance of Mary Poppins at the Proctors Theatre, and it was quite good. Perhaps a little long, with too much of the exposition done to the tune of “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” but there were so many WOW moments – the transformation of the park, Bert walking on the ceiling – that we were all impressed. By the time we got back to Albany, though, I was exhausted from pain and went to bed before anyone.

The Sister returned to San Diego on Tuesday, the pain has subsided somewhat, and we’re back to a busy schedule, mostly driven by the Daughter’s activities. Especially on the weekend.
Jaquandor saw Mary Poppins in Buffalo two years ago.

Says Mark Evanier (and I fully agree): The music group called Big Daddy (loved by many, including me) is staging a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 to produce their new album. I would like to see them do this and have already backed…but it doesn’t look good. With only two days to go, they are a little over halfway there.

Too close to exploding manhole covers

Don’t know how energetic I will be to reply to comments after my procedure on this coming Wednesday.

For about four days, it started hurting when I would eat while using tooth 19. So this past Wednesday morning, I finally called my dentist’s office. Amazingly, I got an appointment that day at 2 p.m. (if not that day, then it would not have until tomorrow). From my symptoms, he believes I need a root canal. The tooth had been capped many years ago, not by him, and it’s a good chance that it has an infection, though nothing ominous is on the X-ray.

He referred me to an endodontist who has done work on his teeth, who can take me in a week. The bad news is that the specialist doesn’t take my insurance, which means that I’ll have an outlay of $1000 to $1500. The semi-good news is that my insurance company will reimburse me about 50% after the fact.

As I am making my appointment, my wife and daughter arrive for their scheduled cleanings. After I hang up, the reception asks, “What was that?” I have no idea what she was talking about, though the lights did flicker momentarily.

I get on my bicycle and was about to depart. But as I’m departing the building, I see a bunch of folks standing around looking northward up the street. It turns out they were looking at a hole from where a manhole cover had flown up in the air. It looked like this:

There were multiple police and fire vehicles on the scene, plus a truck from the National Grid utility.

I go back into my dentist’s office, and I apprise them of these facts. I didn’t know at the time that there were in fact multiple explosions from an underground fire. Soon, some parking attendant advised the dentist’s office to clear; it was all hands on deck to respond to this event, which had happened before.

Anyway, don’t know how energetic I will be to reply to comments after my procedure this coming Wednesday. Eventually, I will respond to your comments, and go visit your sites as well, if I’ve done so in the past.

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