24 February 2009

Root Canal Leads to Signage Post

I've had a molar that's been bothering me recently. It got painful enough on Friday that I figured I should look up a dentist (my old one retired). I called late afternoon but they were already closed. As luck would have it (at least the kind of luck I seem to get) it got very painful just in time for the weekend.

So I took a lot of ibuprofen on Friday but on Saturday I had to take it up a notch with prescription meds. I had a little fun by combining it with alcohol and heavy machinery (monster trucks, etc.). I don't think anyone was hurt but it's hard to say for sure given my medicated state.

Anyway, I knew the tooth was infected and that I would need a root canal, so I called on Monday and set it up for today. Now the Novocaine is wearing off so I'm gearing up for another evening of painkillers and tequila.

I saw this sign in the endodontist's office complex and I had to take a shot because I knew no one would believe me otherwise:

And now that I think about it no one would have believed this one, either, if I didn't show it:

Local Dog Does Not Believe in Evolution

Because if it did it would understand that it is a good doggy, not a wolf. Instead it sat down and chomped on this deer just outside the woods:

The dog is friendly and has proper ID. I went up to it and it ran away scared but with a wagging tail. I turned around and left so he could come back and finish his venison tartare.

20 February 2009

18 February 2009

Elvis is Everywhere

Right now he's with Brenda:

When I look out into your eyes out there,
When I look out into your faces,
You know what I see?
I see a little bit of Elvis
In each and every one of you out there.

Elvis is everywhere
Elvis is everything
Elvis is everybody
Elvis is still the king

Elvis is in your jeans.
He's in your cheeseburgers
Elvis is in Nutty Buddies!
Elvis is in your mom!

-- Mojo Nixon, Elvis is Everywhere

15 February 2009

Open Wide and Say "Aaaahh"

I am under no illusions about the advantages of being male. Or, to be more precise, the inconveniences of being female. One of those inconveniences has to be the annual gynecological exam. Thanks to advances in medical research, the gynecological exam of the future may be a little less inconvenient.

Guided Therapeutics is developing a cervical cancer detection test designed to replace the pap smear. It works by shining a light on tissue and then analyzing how the light reflects back. No, I am not making this up. It's that simple.

The theory is that diseased tissue is different from normal tissue and one of the differences is how is reflects back light. If the technology proves to be reliable, it could not only make examinations quicker and easier but also less costly. From the product page:

A pre-pivotal clinical study of LightTouch™, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute indicated that the non-invasive test could reduce by 55% the number of unnecessary follow-up procedures as a result of false positive Pap test results. The potential savings to the U.S. healthcare system could be as high as $181 million annually if the technology is widely adopted.

This is just one small example of why investment in science education is important. Good schools produce good scientists and good scientists make the world better. To illustrate this point, consider that my idea of how to replace the pap smear was to use dogs that can detect chemical signals, like the ones that can predict seizures or detect cancer by smelling urine.

I don't know how many women would choose a crotch-sniffing mutt over a pap smear but I'm confident a flashlight would beat both.

Now if this company would set its sights on the dreaded "Dr. Jellyfinger" portion of the male medical checkup, that would be great, too.

14 February 2009

This Week in Strange Signage, vol. 2

It's hard to read because of the inherent challenges involved with simultaneous photography and drivery, not to mention the fact that this guy had a lead foot, but I think you can make out the sticker:

And earlier today I saw this one near my grocery store, Findlay Market (where I ran into Jeff, whom I met just a couple days ago and wouldn't have known him otherwise. Thanks, Cincy Imports!).

And FYI, if you find yourself in the Findlay Market area, keep away from this ass clown who thinks parking rules don't apply to him. He got in the parking attendant's face for several minutes, giving him a dose of ghetto fury. To the attendant's credit, he just stood there calmly and endured the rant like a true professional. Apparently the ass clown lives across the street and does this all the time.

13 February 2009

Rest in Peace... (hiccup)

I'm gonna file this one under "Inner City Irony:"

10 February 2009

Signs of the Time

Seen downtown in the first week of February (it's probably necessary to click the pic to read the sign):

Seen in Clifton a week later:

And I thought the solution was complicated...

07 February 2009

Now I Can Die Happy

I am not sure how to say this so I will be blunt: last night I attended a monster truck show.

If you are like me and this is one of your longtime goals, you need to know a couple of things: First, if you don't wear earplugs your ears will bleed in 2 minutes. Second, brain cells and monster trucks do not go together. Leave your mind behind.

Here is what happens at a monster truck show: giant-wheeled trucks gun their engines and run over some junk cars and dirt mounds. For about two hours.

Not the annual philosophy convention

At one point they had to pause the show to air out the fumes as directed by the fire marshal. In addition to fire dept. officials, there was a plethora of security personnel. I have no idea why.

Here is a shot of Public Disturbance (the trucks have names) doing its thing:

And another monster truck monster action shot:

After intermission they brought out TRANSFORMER. It was a monster, not a monster truck. It's basically a truck lift that is built to look like Godzilla. The arms are the lifts and the mouth is a Godzilla-sized jaws-of-life.

What happened next was unbelievable, really. TRANSFORMER lifted up a car to its mouth and started chomping on it until it chomped it in half.

Also, there were flames blasting out of its head every couple minutes.

Here is TRANSFORMER and its four-wheeled victim lying in wait:

And here is the aftermath. You can see the front half of the car, now lying in waste. The big vehicle in the middle is what turned into TRANSFORMER.

I've always wanted to take a date to a monster truck show. I had a date, but she brought her boyfriend so it didn't really count. Or maybe it counts double, I don't know. But I do know that my life is now complete and I can die happy.

St. Paul Factoids

I found a St. Paul visitor's guide last week. Here are four things I did not know:

1) St. Paul has the largest Hmong population of any U.S. city. Apparently the Hmong New Year celebration is a big event.

2) The American Swedish Institute is housed in the former home of publisher Swan Turnblad.

3) The ABA basketball team ("working man's basketball") is called-- get this-- the Ripknees. I suppose that is slightly more endearing than "Torn ACL Court Pentet."

4) The website of the Segway tour company is HumanOnaStick.com

05 February 2009

More Local Graffiti

In this Corner, George W. Bush...

...and in this corner, the American people.

Yes, he's gone... but the sooner we forget the nightmare the sooner we will go back to sleep again. Let's remember by summing up the Bush administration in two links:

Nonstick Chemicals Linked to Infertility

A provocative new study finds that women who have trouble getting pregnant are more likely to have high concentrations of certain nonstick-chemical pollutants circulating in their blood than are those who become pregnant within the first month of trying.

...plenty of both compounds still can be found in air, water and the bodies of people throughout the developed world. Indeed, babies are usually born carrying traces of both compounds — and their chemical kin — supplied by their moms’ blood.

...colleagues have linked elevated concentrations... with a decreased likelihood that her baby or toddler would meet early developmental milestones...

Bush Administration Moves to Okay Toxic Teflon Pollution in Tap Water

In its final days, the Bush administration appears poised to issue an emergency health advisory for tap water polluted with the toxic Teflon chemical PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) effectively allowing a significant level of pollution and discouraging cleanup of PFOA contamination in tap water in at least 9 states.

If the Bush administration advisory is allowed to stand, it could result in blood levels of PFOA in people nearly 10 times higher than the current average amounts.

The practical effect of this first-ever federal safety level would be to sanction long-term exposures at unsafe levels under the guise of a short term advisory.

03 February 2009

I Repeat: I Am Ready for Spring

Apparently no one got the memo the first time. Yes, the snow & ice is a pain in the glutes. Luckily I live a half mile from work so I just put on boots and walked. Did I say "luckily?" I don't know why I said that.

BTW, if you have older people you'd like to keep alive because you care about them or they give you birthday money or something, pass on this message: Falls are the #1 cause of serious injury in older people and the #1 cause of traumatic brain injury. I read that several months ago and I've been spreading the message among friends & family. Two specific things I've said are (1) Don't run to the phone when it rings; and (2) If it's icy outside, you should be inside.

I also tell them that if they break these rules I will not visit them in the hospital nor go to their funeral. I'm lying, but it seems like a good touch to toss in the words "hospital" and "funeral."

And now here are some recently observed wintry scenes:

Clark Street


I thought *I* had trouble getting around