Sunday, June 29, 2008

Baseball and Rain

I have to admit, I am strictly a fair weather baseball fan. There are few places as nice to be as in a baseball park on a nice warm evening in summer.

I used to split a season ticket with a coworker. He had certain days he liked going to the games and I had mine and things worked out very well. The problem from my standpoint was that I felt obligated to use the tickets at times, and the baseball season around here starts in April.

One night in particular, the game was held up several times by rain. My son and I kept asking each other if we should leave. We did end up staying for the whole game and saw the first grand slam (4-run) home run in the stadium.

The trouble is, I suppose I'm not smart enough to know when enough is enough. But since getting out of the season-ticket business, I have sort of resolved that I won't go to games before July or August.

Of course, the offer of a free ticket is just plain not refusable. But then and again when the first inning started, the lightning and thunder and rain and stuff did take a little away from the enjoyment of the game. The real downpour didn't start until I was in the car. The sky was clearing when I got home, and as a matter of fact they did restart and finish the game a little later.

The Bisons had a 3-0 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (Yankees) on Saturday night in Dunn Tire Park.

AAA ball is actually quite interesting. Most of the players are on the brink of major league careers or coming down from the majors for some reason so the quality of ball is very high. I am fortunate in that I get free tickets whenever I want. But even if I had to pay, the price is very reasonable, as opposed to what's paid for major league tickets.

July is just about here and I expect to be there, at the stadium, a number of times this summer.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More on the Root Canal

Today was Chapter 3 of the ongoing saga of the root canal.

The nerve and the decay have been cleaned out previously. Today he removed all the metal from the old crown and shaped the tooth for the new crown. This was a rather long hour and a half in the chair. The good part was, there is no nerve in the tooth, so there is no pain. All he had to do was deaden the gum around the tooth.

At the end he made an impression for the new crown and put a temporary crown on the tooth. He let me know that there might be some discomfort in the gum afterwards but I have had almost no discomfort at all.

The progress that's been made in painless dentistry is really something. There's no way it can conceivably be thought of as a pleasant process, but the thing that would scare me away the most, the pain, is absolutely minimal.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Short Article on Pedometers

I just came across this short article on pedometers and weight loss.

It's interesting the little tidbits you come across day by day on things like this. I am anything but an exercise fanatic but I really am looking for any little bit of help I can get.

The improvement I feel when I do get just basic exercise is tremendous, it improves my thinking, it improves my interest in things and numerous little things.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Walking and maps

Usually when I go out walking it's just a random experience. I go this way or that arbitrarily.

Because one of the values of walking is for your health, and I want to make sure I was getting enough exercise, I did buy a step counter or pedometer. This is good for letting me know how much I have gotten in the way of exercise and I do use it quite a bit.

Wouldn't it be nice to figure out ahead of time, what might be an interesting route to take? I am not much into complicated things for figuring out stuff like that. But if I could find something simple, why not?

I did find a little free program that uses Google maps -- gmap-pedometer -- that seems to be worth looking into. All you do is bring up your map by entering your address or zip code or something, click on record and then double click on each turning point or other marker you have. There's a reference to an instruction sheet if you feel you need it.

It will show mile markers, if you want. It showed that my little trip to Dollar General on Delaware Avenue is almost a mile and a half and just walking up to Military Road and back is over a mile. It shows the distance for each leg you've put on your route and resolves all the distances to four decimal places. You can even look at a rooftop view or topographic map of the area, because it is Google maps. You can also save routes and print them out.

It's an interesting way to figure out how far you walked in your last trip to the park.

Rose Attack

This Sunday morning, the weather was perfect and I noticed I was getting a few weeds growing around the plants in the backyard. It's really nice to work outside when the weather is a little below 70° (20 C) and not too sunny.

It's been a good growing season so far, my red roses are all out and the white ones are budding nicely. The lilacs are gone already but the hedges and other plants, including the weeds, are doing quite well.

I did do a pretty good cleaning up job and I think it shows with the way the plants are growing. The roses in particular are really growing good this year.

I got everything cleaned up and even went over everything with the string trimmer to expand my work a little.

When I was washing up afterwards I tried to wash off some dirt on the back of my arm and lo and behold! It wasn't dirt -- a one of my ungrateful roses must have attacked me while I was trying to help it. Such a lack of gratitude really got to me.

Isn't it interesting how when you're enjoying yourself like I was with the gardening, scratches and other minor things just aren't even noticed?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Living with a Hearing Aid.

The weather was nice this morning so I decided to take a walk to Dollar General -- 3300 steps on the pedometer. As I was walking down the street, I realized that things were a little bit too peaceful and quiet. Oops! No hearing aid. The thing is one of those molded in the ear types and is so comfortable it is just too easy to forget, especially on a Sunday morning.

It really didn't matter, because it was Sunday, but I have frustratedly made the trip home during the week to pick it up when I have forgotten it. Actually, I have a fixed routine where it is almost impossible to forget anything but I do have a penchant for impossible things at times.

It did bring up some thoughts though. Sometimes when you're a little bit hard of hearing or something, you can ignore people and people do cut you a little slack because of your 'problem'. Not that I would ever do such a thing, perish the thought. It's even possible to enjoy TV programs that other people are watching, that you can't stand, by turning the volume down on the hearing aid and enjoying the silence. There can even be a dog barking constantly down the street. Does it bother me? Nope -- I have control.

Actually this thing is kind of nifty. I've got settings for normal listening, noisy backgrounds, a special TV watching setting, and if I use a telephone it's got a special setting for that that automatically kicks in. It just amplifies the particular frequencies that I am deficient in so you don't get a lot of extra noise. Of course nothing is perfect, but this is pretty good.

The progress that has been made in just the past couple of years is really noteworthy. A man I see every day has had a cochlear implant. He is actually virtually deaf but has been getting by by reading lips and gestures because the hearing aid he had didn't help. Now, because of a surgical implant, he actually has something that is like hearing. He is actually taking therapy to help him understand spoken words. You sit behind his back so he can't unintentionally lip read and read words for him to repeat. They even read him words over the telephone for practice.

It's an interesting situation in my case. I really never knew I had a hearing problem until one time I was talking to my daughter over the phone and complaining about the bad connection that we had because I could not hear. For some reason or other I had to reach for something and switched the phone to the other ear. All of a sudden I could hear clearly. I switched it back and I couldn't hear. Even I can put two and two together. Isn't it interesting how we can't see our own problems at times?

There are so many ways we can make things easier on our selves.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Root Canal for Me

I just went to the second appointment for a root canal. The first two appointments have consisted of cleaning out the inside of the tooth, removing any nerve tissue or whatever is inside the canals or hollows in the tooth. Coming up in the future is inserting a post in the tooth, and then putting on a new crown. It's a fairly long process consisting of five or six appointments, some of which are pretty long.

There's always the big problem, is it really worth the expense and discomfort? In my case, though, I very much do not want to lose any more teeth in that part of my mouth. I don't have any dentures and don't want any for as long as I can put it off.

The expense is real and high, approaching $2000 in all. In my case with the under the gum damage to the tooth, the only real alternative available would have been an extraction and probably getting a partial denture.

I have to admit though, the procedure so far has been virtually pain-free. The progress that's been made in pain-free dentistry is from my standpoint, almost incredible.

My dentist has been really good about this. He's been taking quite a bit of time to explain everything to me as he's gone through the procedure, including any problems that might show up along the way. There really have been none from my standpoint so far.

Pain is the real big concern, from my standpoint. Of course there is discomfort from all the work that's being done in my mouth, but any pain is really a nonissue.