An Inconvenient Tooth

I have a cavity. That's what my dentist told me at my semi-annual cleaning back a couple of weeks ago. And I was scheduled to go in this morning at 9:00 to have it filled.

At the same time, I've been having issues with my car brakes. The only convenient time to have them fixed was this morning at 8:00. Knowing I couldn't do both at the same time -- have my brakes fixed and my cavity filled -- I had to make a decision. And since my daughter is coming home from college this long weekend and will need the car, and since I have 31 other teeth in my head that are working properly, I opted to postpone the dentist appointment in favor of the brake work. So now the brakes are fixed and I have an appointment in November to see about getting the inconvenient tooth put right. Life's little episodes taken care of ... one appointment at a time.

While waiting for the brakes to be fixed I went for a stroll down Route 28, got a cup'a'Joe at the local coffee shop, and sipped it while standing on the bridge overlooking Swan Pond River, taking in the autumn scene. What a morning! On such a morning, with a cup of coffee in hand and a beautiful vista stretching off ahead, it's hard to believe that there are problems out there in the world. Yet there are problems, big problems, and here are a few.

The Moon - Believe it or not, this month the moon is hurtling toward the earth at an alarming rate and there's nothing we can do about it! It could mean the end of all life on this planet. Oh sure, the cockroaches and horseshoe crabs and amoebae will survive, but not much else. Even the Religious Right could be snuffed out! Don't believe me?! Look outside later this month as the waxing moon rises and note how big it appears. It'll look huge. In fact, on October 25th at 4:52 am the full Hunter's Moon will be circa 30,000 miles closer to earth than normal (see Of course, astronomers will call this phenomenon a perigee ... I call it apocalyptic!

Fed Funds Rate - The Feds dropped the Fed Funds Rate -- the interest that banks charge each other for overnight funds -- from 5.25% to 4.75%. Just who in the hell do these Feds think they are that they can arbitrarily lower rates, and we common folk have to abide by their actions?! (Especially when my IRA matures next week.) This is insane! What if the rest of the world operated like this? What would we have then? I'll tell you what we'd have -- we'd have chaos, that's what we'd have! What if the NFL changed a field goal from three points to two points? Or if Major League Baseball changed the length of a game from nine innings to eight? Or if the National Hurricane Center lowered a Category 5 storm from 155 mph winds to 130? Where would we be then? Huh? Huh?! We'd be in Chaosland, that's where we'd be!! That's right, Chaosland!

Postcards - While waiting for my brakes to be fixed I wrote out a few postcards to some friends (while humming the Counting Crows' song "All My Friends" in the process, to the annoyance of those sitting nearby). Anyway, is it just me or do postcards these days afford very little space to actually inscribe a message? The "Greetings from Cape Cod" postcards I had selected provided a 2.5" x 2.25" area (5.625 square inches total) in which to tell my friends everything I've been up to over the past six months since I last communicated with them. That's not much room. To my friend, M-, I had just enough space to write: "Hi M-, Hope all well. Greetings from Cape. Look out for moon! See soon, Jack."  To my buddy, N-, I scribbled: "Hi N-, How things? All fine here. How 'bout that Fed Funds Rate! See ya, Jack." And to G- and D- I wrote: "Hi G- and D-, Do you believe how little space these darn postcards give you to ..."

Oh sure, others will argue that there are larger world issues to address, like the War in Iraq, and the potential War with Iran, and the situation in Myanmar (formerly Burma), and the price of gasoline, and the high cost of health insurance, and the high cost of a college tuition, and global warming, and the recent talks between the leaders of South and North Korea, and which of the presidential candidates might make the best leader of our country over the next four years (and if the country is ready for a female president, or a black president, or a movie star president), etc, etc, etc.

But I think if we first begin with these important issues concerning the moon and postcards, then everything else will fall neatly into place. Unless or course, Britney Spears has another child or Paris Hilton does something that lands her back in jail, in which case we should direct all efforts toward covering these breaking stories ad nauseam!

And I mean ad nauseam!

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