Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Getting My Teeth Into It

Yesterday, Monday, I was scheduled for a tooth cleaning which required I take off from work. It was that or reschedule the tooth nonsense into July, when the dentist could find a non-work-clashing appointment. Things have reached a pretty pass on Long Island with dentists able to dictate terms to would-be patients on account of the fact that despite it being more lucrative than Cocaine running, there simply aren't enough dentists to go round.

As a child I would have viewed this situation with a certain amount of glee. Of course, given the state of my diet and my teeth, that state of mind would last about 6 months. I seemed to need fillings about once a year on average. I digress, as usual.

I used the opportunity to get proactive. The weekend had proved a bit of a loss, New Bog wise. Only one wall had been finished owing to the need to do a couple of jobs I forgot to do before putting up the fiberglass insulation. That entailed taking bits of the fiberglass insulation down so I could put things right and the days just got away from me. I had ended up on Sunday night totally exhausted from the dash to catch up, and was not at my best during compulsory entertainment courtesy of the Stevieling's Church Youth Group. Two teams of earnest youths had organised some improvised entertainment that was about as much fun as the toothache had been four weeks before. The Stevieling's group "sang" a song so badly it was genuinely impossible to discern any of the four tunes they were attempting to parody, one after the other. Then there were some sketches, most of which appeared to have been conceived while playing Pokemon video games and attitude set in in Mr Brain. Indeed, by the time the youth warden had finished his interminable summing up of the year's activities I was of a mind to kill everybody in the whole world if they didn't let me go and relax on my sofa for a bit. You are all very lucky that events ended when they did.

Back to Monday, then. I had to take off the morning, and I figured that I might as well take the day off and get caught up.

First off was the visit to the dentist for the cleaning. All I can say about that is "ow". Or, to put it more accurately:

Then it was off to the endodontist to resolve a paperwork problem. He had submitted form asking approval to do the root canal he actually did (and for which I paid him) so that my insurance company would send him more money that he would then send to me. This is all much simpler than a national health plan remember. The insurance company promptly went off-script and sent the "OK to drill" to me, requiring me to go over to the Endodontist and get a signature and date of service attestation. Which I did. The day was positively oozing productivity.

Then I returned home and fitted the remaining wall of greenboard. Once again I cut it in half (roughly) to accomodate the rhombohedral shape of the wall more easily. You can see from the pictures that the corner was running out by quite a bit. Anyway, I couldn't have carried the entire board up the stairs no matter how much I wanted to avoid a seam in the wall.

That done I did some laundry, smeared myself with honey, watched some Swedish "educational" videos, licked everything in the fridge and played "Victoria's Secret Catalog Shoot" with the underwear in the hamper. Then I regretfully tidied up and showered before the Stevieling came home from school.

The Stevieling has been working on a project for her Spanish class, a slide show on Columbia, in which she has shown some encouraging signs of being a chip off the old block. She had downloaded a plethora of pictures of Columbia for use in this powerpoint project but, because her access to the internet is strictly controlled by netnanny software which blocked references to Columbia, Central America (presumably because of the death squads, drug cartels and so forth), she had inadvertantly concentrated on shots of places in Columbia.

Columbia, Maryland.

Which is a beautiful place as I can attest from personal knowledge, and from where I'm standing a much nicer prospect than Columbia, Central America. The death squads are much more discriminating in Maryland for example, and kidnappings are at an all-time low. Anyway. Showing a delightful lack of insight from such subliminal cues as the accompanying text being entirely in English she assembled a prodigious array of incorrect visual aids and would surely have gone down in the annals of that Spanish teacher's all-time memorable students were it not for the interferring of Mrs Stevie, who insisted that the whole thing be done over.

To get around the vexing problem of the references being blocked (and what we are talking about here is Google hits being blocked), Mrs Stevie decided against examining the firewall settings for a breathtakingly simple plan of giving the Stevieling her, Mrs Stevie's, sign-on credentials. Elegant. Simple. Completely counter productive, as we shall see, but that's neither here nor there. The women of the Steviemanse don't hold with educating themselves about their computer equipment and are adamantly proud of that.

The first product of this new largesse was that the Stevieling complained that all the sites in Columbia (Central America) were in Spanish. It was, of course, entirely unreasonable of her teacher, her parents and the entire nation of Columbia to expect her to actually read any Spanish in a project set for a Spanish class. The next was a suspicious period in which the Stevieling locked the computer room door while she "checked something". I put a stop to that in short order but of course the damage is done. What is the point in me providing software to watch the Stevieling while she is on the web if someone goes and gives her an adult account to play with? I pointed this out to Mrs Stevie who thought she might change her password.

If I would just show her how.

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