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April 13, 1999
a year ago

Busy Day and Ways

Had to get up early, today, to get to the dental lab in order to get the tooth coloring redone. It was somewhat confusing, as I got to the lab before my bridge did, and the lady who wanted to do it thought I was there for normal color match thing, rather than re-doing color for a bridge they'd already made. Luckily, Peggy showed up and talked them through what they had to do, and that worked out really well. I had to stay and they did the match and then compared it again to make sure that it was right. That was good.

I actually got up a bit before I had to, the time sense is working again, and I woke up a minute before the alarm went off. Took a long, leasurely shower, and checked out quickly enough that I thought about going to Uwajamaya before the dental lab check,. Regretfully, the grocery store wasn't open until 9 a.m., so I had to skip on it and get out to the lab quickly. Once there, they did the job and did it, eventually, right. And it looks like the tooth will be where it has to be to be cemented into my mouth properly.

After the appointment, I dropped by Victor's, got a hero's welcome and bought my mocha and a scone and slipped off again. Victor and Jeanne were really happy to see me, and Christen got engaged just the night before, so it was good timing! That was kinda sweet.

I sipped my mocha and went to Ben Franklin, where I'd bought all the feathers I've been using as quills. I like them so much and while I did find the equivalent place in Boulder, that shop only carried quills with crushed tubes or ones that were cut shorter than I liked. So I went into Ben Franklin's and bought every packet of white feathers that had all but one quill whole and in good shape. I also bought one packet of multi-colored feathers that looked like they were in good shape, if dyed and just a bit shorter than the white ones.

Then to work! And I still go there earlier than I usually do. Most of the archives, though, are down and most of the working drives are out, so all I could do, really, was write documentation. So that's pretty much what I did, after talking with Bob for a while.

They were having a good-bye lunch for Kevin, but with the 1 p.m. dental appointment, it wasn't really going to happen. Which was kinda sad, but I think they weren't really expecting me anyway.

Things at Dr. Snyder's worked out better than I'd hoped. The new tooth realy fits in with the rest of my mouth, beautifully. The new bridge is also really, really solid, and it took a good hour to get it in to Dr. Synder's satisfaction. He's more of a perfectionist than I am, which may be why I enjoy having him work on me and the stuff that I need so very much.

The process was pretty agonizing, on the whole. Cleaning the neighboring teeth, sand blasting 'em a bit to pock them a little for the cement, then doing the placement, holding it in place until it stuck. Then cleaning up around it and then adding some plastic to the front to fill in the holes where the black metal showed through a little. Finally all the polishing, cleaning off of edges and then making sure that my bite still worked. He took a little bit off my bottom teeth to make room for the extra mass in my mouth, behind the front teeth.

The new bridge is definitely thicker than my old one, and it's bonded onto the teeth on either side pretty solidly, as he'd cut notches into both teeth for the wings to fit onto and into. The whole of the work was done with my mouth wide open and before the bonding, everything had to be dried out for it to work.

But by the time it was done, it was beautifully done. Solid and aesthetic, though Dr. Snyder kept apologizing for the fact that it wasn't ideal. A true ideal would have been to do some orthodontia to close the gap around the missing tooth and then put in a bridge or an implant that matched the tooth opposite the other in size. I think all those years with the old bridge kept the gap pretty large. I was very pleased when it was done, but Dr. Snyder said that I should be sure and have any adjustments made if there was any problem with my bite immediately, and that I should find a dentist that knew what he was doing in Boulder and if anything should happen to it, that that dentist should just FedEx it to Dr. Snyder and he'd Take the trouble to fix it properly and then send it back just as quickly. A lifetime warranty in some manner of speaking. I really, really liked that.

My mouth, afterwards, was just a mess, though. Sandblasted, jaw muscles sore, and a bit gritty from all the different things that had happened. I was also a bit wobbly because I hadn't eaten lunch in order to get a bit more done at work before taking off for the appointment. That wasn't too good. The good thing, however, was that Uwajamaya was fairly close by and I knew the fastest, most direct back route to get there. So I did. I got there with plenty of time to just eat some lunch and then shop before having to head out to the airport.

I looked over the menu at the lunch bar, and found that they had a shoyu ramen for about four bucks, which always makes me giggle that I eat four dollar lunches when out on business; but, hey, I'm back in the area where I love and know the cheap lunches! So that's what I got. The noodles were easy to chew on my sore teeth, but the really hot soup made me intensely aware of how chewed up the interior of my mouth was. The burn from the lightly sandblasted areas was fairly intense at first, but got better. It was very, very satisfying, though, to be able to eat without having to take my 'tooth' out and be able to chew. The BBQ pork in the ramen was in nice, big chunks, too, sweet and savory and chewy. Mmmmm... and the green onions were crisp and flavorful. That was really good.

I then bought six three-packs of ramen from the grocery store, which promptly went into the soft-sided carry-on.

Getting to SeaTac wasn't a problem, though there was enough stop and go traffic that I was glad that I'd gotten the early start. The return was easy and the United folks were really good to me, said that there were plenty of aisle seats and didn't see why the travel agent had assigned me a middle seat. So they gave me a nice aisle seat and that was very cool. The flight itself was comfortable, quick, and we arrived about half an hour early. Just enough time for me to use the restroom on the ground before John appeared to pick me up. Yay!

He was pretty harried, though, had had a pretty rough day and there were thunderheads rolling in over Denver that looked like they were pretty threatening. As we headed out to the parking lot, he also told me that the Rangie was really low on diesel because he hadn't been able to find a gas station that pumped diesel. So it was going to be a near thing. Then we found out that the Range Rover wouldn't go into reverse, right there in the DIA parking lot. John started it up, tried to put it in, and it wouldn't go. At all. We rolled the car a ways, hoping it was just a gear mis-alignment, but it still wouldn't go. So we finally had to push it back from the parking space, with the help of a guy that was headed home from the airport as well, and got it out into the aisle way. It went forward just fine, but the reverse just refused to take.

As we rolled out from DIA, the lightening show began. It was like fireworks in Seattle, as on the fourth of July, there is nearly always still some cloud cover, so some of the firework blooms end up just lighting up the clouds, in many layers from behind. But here, the show was all the way from the north horizon to the south and there were areas of intense electrical activity. Sheet lightning that light up entire expanses of the sky, bolts that hammered the ground with a concussive thud that could be felt as much as heard. The bolts were pure light, not any kind of real white, but that kind of blue white that is characteristic only of intense wattage arcing Then the rain hit. Pelting rain, water running from every surface, splashing, gurgling and turning all the windows into fun house mirrors of the world. Rain like I remember from Indiana, nothing like the quiet misting of Seattle. It just poured.

And all the while we're looking for a gas station with diesel. DIA is, literally, in the middle of no where, and it was miles and miles until we got to the service areas just east of I-25, and we went through about half a dozen different stations until we ended up in this odd parking lot that went behind several stations, and John parked, turned off the engine and went racing out into the rain to check the pumps on two stations that we were right near. He came back soaked and jubilant as the very last station in the area had diesel.

When it tried to start the engine it hesitated, then died. An air bubble. So he tried again, and it caught. With the station so close, and the engine already hesitating, instead of trying to get turned around and out of the odd parking lot, we just went straight over a concrete bumper and a curb and a bit of gravel. One of the guys in the nearest gas station was just staring at us, but given that it had already hesitated, I had no compunction. We made it to the diesel pump, and John filled up, cursing his day.

I was just glad that we'd made it to the pump.

Getting home was pretty straightforward after that. Simple, even. And as we got close to home it started to snow, big, fat, wet flakes of snow and then another spray of lightning across the sky. Quite the spectacular show. The roads remained clear, though, as the snow wasn't sticking, and wet. Fezzik was just soaked when we got home, and shook all over us happily. He danced into the house with us and then settled happily by the heater vent. I sprayed all my herb seeds, made some hot chocolate, and by the time I drank it I was entirely and utterly ready to sleep.

It was so neat to be able to go to sleep to the sound of rain, again.

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