Wednesday, May 23, 2007

mental geocaching - here are directions to find my mind

Today I will be blogging from my auto dealership's service department waiting room.
     Welcome back to Saturn. At mile 620 and a paycheck later I made it back for that 200-300 mile dye diagnostic. Louanne has assured me they't take care of the issuees I brought the car in for weeks ago. I have an impending sense I will need Vaseline. 1949 Crosley ad I've come prepared for the hour or three wait -- snack, beverage, music, reading materials, zen -- but I didn't check the battery in my MP3 player before I left home. I have one bar, which should last me between five minutes and thirty minutes. Looks like I am taking a hike over to the K-mart across the street to buy something I already have 20 of. (IKEA's 10 for $4 rebranded Varta AAA cells do me no good when they're 12 miles away.) Song of the moment: "Forever Live & Die" (extended version) -- Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. And I just noticed as Louanne wanders around the place that she's "going commando" today... yep, pretty sure there's not even a thong back there.
     ...K-mart was a freakshow, complete with JoJo The Lobster Boy and a family of pinheads. The only two-pack of AAA batteries in the whole store is Energizer lithiums, which I'm wary of due to losing my first digital camera to a corroded pair of those. I bought them anyway and pledged not to loan my Rio S35 to anyone who plans to store it in a garage. Continuity of music is restored, though the player decided to reset itself between songs while I was browsing the electronics department. There has to be a message in there somewhere.
     I brought along a section of yesterday's newspaper which had a big article about alternative fuel vehicles and a conflab at Microsoft to discuss them. I was not there but the coverage made it seem... tepid. Exciting but depid. As though the auto industry likes to give lip service about change but is hesitant to create it. Like they seek a petroleum stinger, not a petroleum killer. Did get a grin out of the photo of a Chevy Volt, created by General Motors, which gets 40 miles per charge -- considering that GM created a car twelve years ago that could get 120 miles to the charge with a potential of 300 with a battery upgrade then destroyed it, you have to wonder whether any existing science they had was in use. Baby-steps. The article also had photos of a plug-in Toyota Prius and a hydrogen/plug-in Ford Edge, but the text didn't actually name names about what we can expect in the future... well, beside college engineering classes making prototypes of vehicles the auto industry refuses to produce, like Western Washington University's 'Viking32' parallel hybrid -- electricity and biomethane. (Cow optional. You'd think it'd be Central Washington University that would pioneer biomethane. *snicker*) Song of the moment: "Data Inadequate" - Banco de Gaia.
     Somewhere between "The Highs Are Too High" by Pretty & Twisted and the Mattrix Traxx remix of Queen's "Fat Bottom Girls" (which is a fitting song around here considering some customers and, oh, did I mention Louanne is going commando under tight white slacks?) I realized it is now several minutes until noon. I arrived here at 10 a.m. and haven't had an update. I have read half of the Funny Times. [seconds later after I write that] Louanne has slipped into the chair next to me, the one where the right armrest seems to have been deboned, and informed me that the rare occurance of a cracked head gasket is indeed the case, which would take two days and fifteen hundred dollars to fix. I decide I'm going to stare at her ass have the brake rotors scuffed to eliminate the noise and have their pimply-faced youth wash my car. Hopefully the car will continue to run happily with its speech impediment until a worthwhile no-gas/low-gas solution comes along. Can you drive with a cracked head gasket for (considering the rate of auto industry foot-dragging on liberating itself from funding terrorism through oil sales) about ten years?
X-ray of Mushy's #2 molar      So while I wait for my chariot, a few words on the state of my dental health per yesterday's visit to the reclining chair: The doctor filled me up with Novacaine and clove oil, bored into that molar, realized it was out of his league (hey, I could have told him I had square roots! see, at left?), and referred me to a different person whom I have an appointment with tomorrow. One dentist visit now devolves into three, since I will go back to him after the root canal to get a crown. But at least now he speaks of that missing portion of the molar, at last! The song of the moment: "How Strong Is Love?" - A House. In theory I should be out of here by 1pm, and I am debating eating my granola bar. With the temporary filling, I can't determine what back there is supposed to be there and what part is just a wayward oat.
     There's a person in the seat across from me: chubby white guy, mid-to-late 50's, white hair and bushy mustache, peggy teeth, reading Golf Digest. Significant is that his cell phone has rang twice, and his ringtone is some horrible likely-popular rap song. I presume this makes him answer his phone faster than "Für Elise". I have finished the Funny Times now and it's quarter-past 1 p.m., and my car is nowhere in sight. The song of the moment is Men Without Hats' cover of "I Am The Walrus". It's a good thing I bought batteries! Chubby Cracker is asleep sitting up, which isn't tough since he's built like a Weeble. I'm wondering why not fixing my car takes longer than replacing working parts. I go off in search of Louanne's velvet-upholstered figure, hoping she didn't take lunch without giving me an update. Or perhaps the car-washer isn't back from his 5th period high school English class three blocks away. [away, return] Nope, she's at the desk and says the car is ready but she hasn't been handed the key yet. She passes me the billing documentation and there's no charge for today's amusements... that's one little victory. She give me her card and writes some stuff on the back -- "great, a girl gives me her number and I have to pay for the time with her" I joke, but I don't think she got it -- and I wrap this up while she fetches the key from the washer-kid. I'm goin' home and see if I can regain some sleep... and am totally not surprised when I hear the brakes go rr-rrr-rrrr as I brake at the parking lot entrance to wait for a gap in street traffic.

I have a feeling the dentists try to draw out each little thing into several visits, in order to cash in more from the insurance (or patient). At leasts that's what happens in Germany.

But when we go to Poland to have something big done, they always finish it in one sitting!
When I told Karen, who works at a hospital, about having to go back, she said "so dentists require repeat visits for one thing, like the doctors here do?"

In all honesty: had my dentist been able to handle my tooth himself, it would have been one visit. But he bowed out, so I went to the other. And as you see in the next entry, since I would not stop bleeding, the finish had to be put off for a week. I suppose due to my dental decay and my circulatory system in my jaw you could say the repeat visits are all my fault. Not that I could help either. :)
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