Orthodontist Visit

The office of the third orthodontist I've visited.
The office of the third orthodontist I’ve visited.

I went to the orthodontist today for a third opinion on a procedure I’m considering.

I have a crossbite where my lower jaw doesn’t line up correctly with my upper jaw.

It’s not visible to other people unless I point it out and it doesn’t affect my eating.

The issue is that the problem only developed recently and it irritates me.

I feel like my mouth just doesn’t close right and I hate it.

My mother had the same problem and it eventually became painful and she had to have surgery to get it fixed.

I’ve gotten conflicting opinions on whether the jaw pain my mother experienced was related to her crossbite or to grinding her teeth, but I feel those two could be connected. I’m certainly grinding my teeth more now that they don’t fit together correctly.

Fixing my crossbite would require surgery. I’ve been to three orthodontists and they all agree that I’ll need to see an oral surgeon in addition to getting braces to fix the problem.

My family is worried about the surgery for practical reasons. The health benefit isn’t clear, its expensive, and no one will notice but me.

Surgery also has possible risks of excessive bleeding when they take out a piece of my jaw so that the upper and lower halves match.

That risk is controlled by doing the surgery in a hospital, but its still on my mind a little bit.

I’m also concerned about whether I will enjoy the surgery once it is finished.

My crossbite developed when I was about eighteen years old. The reason it bothers me is because I remember when it wasn’t like this.

But if my teeth were always like this would I care? Probably not.

And what if after the surgery my teeth don’t fit exactly like the way they used to?

Then I would still feel like my mouth wasn’t closing right and I’d have spent thousands of dollars for nothing.

I’ll keep doing the consultations and planning steps for the procedure for now, but I haven’t made a definite decision on if I’m going through with it or not yet.

Bleh! Why can’t my dental problems just be candy related?

-Mister Ed

Small Leg Injury

dammit, tim. 

So this afternoon I injured my leg. I took a picture of it, but it looks nasty. I decided you should get a picture of a beaver and his friends instead.

I hurt my leg while at work. It’s not broken or anything like that. I received a cut in a strange way.

You see we have these rolling tables at work for putting rice plants on at the greenhouse.

The tables are designed for maximum storage capacity. I’d guess that their dimensions are 5’x8′ (1.52mx2.44m).

The tables are supported by two long sliders.

Two rollers rest perpendicular along both sliders, one at each end.

The chain link fence material table then rests on top of that.

The rice plants then go on top of that.

The purpose of this is so that the table can roll back and forth.

There are four tables in the greenhouse, two on each side with a pathway through the middle.

The default position of the tables is to be rolled back against the walls.

The whole thing is designed to save horizontal space.

The tables can be rolled out into the pathway and one can go behind them to reach the plants on that side of the table.

It works great and its actually a lot of fun to roll the tables back and forth.

But since the whole thing is to save space, the greenhouse gets a little cramped.

Today while I was disposing of some old plants I rolled the table out to reach the back plants.

I placed my leg incorrectly and the table rolled over it, pinching my skin.

The injury looks kind of weird. Like a mix between a bruise and a snake bite. I think it looks most like the head of this guy from Star Wars.

Anyways, kinda nasty.

A lot of other cool stuff has been happening lately too. Father’s Day for one!

More posts on that stuff soon.

-Mister Ed

Vampire Physics

That’s a picture of my favorite vampire, Spike. He’s a recurring villain/anti-hero from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I always like anti-hero characters and Spike is one of the better ones. He starts off as a villain, but fails spectacularly at that. He then tries his hardest to reform and become a hero, stumbling and falling all the way until he martyrs himself to save his love, Buffy.

Vampires are a very mutable part of our culture. The rules that define vampires change depending on which story you’re reading or watching. My dad and I refer to these rules as the “physics of the story.” Magic can have physics or superpowers can have physics or a particular type of monster can have physics. The important part of physics in a story is consistency. If the vampires can shoot lazers from their eyes, that’s fine as long as they all have that power or its absence is explained.

Vampire physics are consistent in most stories about them, but horribly inconsistent if you look at different stories.

Twilight vampires are supernaturally fast and strong, sparkle in daylight, need to be ripped apart and burned to be killed, and each individual vampire has a superpower of some kind.

Buffy vampires are strong and burn in daylight or when exposed to sanctified objects such as a cross or holy water. Buffy vampires turn to ash when a stake goes through their hearts, cast no reflection, and need to be invited into private residences before entering them. 

I might be remembering this one wrong as its been a long time since I’ve seen this movie. The vampire in Vampire in Brooklyn (Eddie Murphy in a classic gory vampire movie if you’re interested) has super speed, super strength, the ability to magically charm people, some sort of sixth sense, and the ability to create zombie-like servants.

In D&D, vampires are strong, fast, fear sanctified objects and mirrors, can’t cross running water unless in a boat, and are killed by decapitation or staking in the heart (but will return if the head is reattached or the stake removed). D&D vampires can also turn into a bat or a wolf and summon such creatures to do their bidding as well. D&D vampires can turn into mist, must sleep in coffins, can magically charm people with a glance, and can walk on walls.

All of these are part of the vampire myth and each is consistent within each story, but it becomes difficult when new vampire stories come out to discern what the rules will be. The sparkling vampires in Twilight were a new thing for a lot of people. Dracula isn’t killed by stakes in Van Helsing but can only be killed by werewolves. Another part of the vampire myth is a constant feud with werewolves, present in Twilight, Van Helsing, and Underworld.

That vampire-werewolf connection is actually pretty interesting. One of the theories is that vampire and werewolf stories started when rabies first reached Europe. People didn’t know what it was. All they saw was a bite turning a normal person into a beast of some kind whose bite would also transmit the disease. These people started being called vampires and werewolves (possibly even the same word that shifted pronunciation).

Anyways, I’m thinking about all of this because I’m writing about vampires in my True Colors Hornblower story. I’d like the vampire physics to be consistent, but I haven’t nailed down which rules I’d like to use. I’ll probably closely follow Buffy as that’s the story where my favorite vampire lives, but I’ll ditch those restrictions if they don’t fit the story.

That’s all for tonight!

-Mister Ed