Friday, July 12, 2013

Mouth Anew

I found a dentist.

I am so lucky.  Because my luck tends to change rapidly, I am taking advantage of this find, by eagerly offering up my mouth anytime they have cancellations.

Yesterday in fact, I went in twice, both opportunities came from cancelled appointments.

I had the broken tooth pulled.  I had the one next to it, that had also lost a large filling, refilled.

On the bottom, I've had numerous small fillings mostly from decay around or beneath old fillings or from fillings that have fallen out.  All my teeth are now fixed on the bottom.  I have a few left to be fixed on the top.  The dentist said it would take three more appointments.

This is a great office with really nice staff.  The dentist who pulled the root of my broken tooth was kind and very gentle.  They all are. They seem so competent too.  I was very nervous starting in with a new dentist but I had no reason for concern.

Like I say, I am so lucky.  So few people now are able to get their teeth fixed like this.  I can't believe it is really happening for me.

I do know several people who do have insurance and could get their teeth fixed, but don't.  That's hard to fathom.

Teeth are important!

I've gone up to the lake twice now, with my raft.  Both times, I had to pump it up by hand.  The first time, it was almost 100 degrees out, while I pumped up the  raft.  The second time, around 90 degrees.  While at the dental office, this week, I was chatting with a family, and told them about my raft and pumping it by hand.  They have a raft too and also had to pump it by hand when they visited the same lake, but not because they lack a working cigarette outlet in their car, but because they had forgotten the pump's adapter.  They told me Walmart has an apparatus that clips onto a cars' battery that has an outlet on it, that can be used, for, among other things, pumping up a raft.

Holy cow, I thought.  Today I'm going to go see if what they described exists.

I don't mind pumping it up by hand.  It's good exercise I figure.  But it does make me think twice about going, if it is super hot out, like 90 plus degrees hot.  If I blow it up tight in that heat, when it hits the cold water, the air contracts and it's not that tight anymore.  Can then be kind of squishy.

I also need a way to get the raft onto the lake.  I don't want to drag the rear of it over concrete, when I'm by myself.  So far, I've been able to find another person willing to grab the back and haul it down to the lake.  I usually pump it up twenty feet away or so.  It's not that heavy but it's unwieldy and could be damaged if I drug it, with one end scraping across the concrete.

I know they sell kayak or boat caddies that accomplish this.  I'll need to build one.

I spend the hours on the lake rowing all over the lake.  The boat does best if you row it backwards, and it rows really well.  I found a kayak paddle finally, but that doesn't work for my raft like rowing it works.  That raft cuts through the water like a knife when I row it.

I usually tow the paddle board, that I got at Goodwill, behind it like a dingy, .  I usually find a beach in the end, although it can be tough to find an unoccupied spot, tie it up and take a nap or eat lunch, then take a swim.

I love to be on the water, either swimming or in the raft.  This summer is perfect for it.  I wish there was water closer than that lake, but I'm glad its up there.  It is the only lake in the entire area, so it is extremely popular as you might imagine.

Above that lake, which is really a reservoir, along a narrow windy and ultimately gravel road, is another reservoir, Green Peter and above that, all along that narrow windy road, people camp out along it and the river, and pay nothing.


They say they're going to stop allowing that, but its really the only place a good share of this areas' residents can afford to camp.  However, that area has become over run in scumdogs, who leave their trash behind, steal from other campers, drink and do drugs, and shoot guns.  Here's a link to Access Oregon's experience up there.  Be warned, after reading this.   I was told by a family who camps up there often:  don't go alone; don't leave your camp unattended or your stuff is likely to not be there when you return; don't go unarmed either.  There you have it.

Camping in Oregon is synonymous with being an Oregonian.  Everybody (almost) wants to camp.  But it's become outrageously expensive.  Oregon campgrounds have become an industry too, and the fees are often between $20 and $30 a night for an unimproved site.   A lot of Oregonians cannot afford such fees.  The Fish and Wildlife department, I think it is, now charges $7 just to park at their wildlife refuges, to go for a walk.  Can you imagine that?  $7 just to park in a pullout and go for a walk.

I think this is probably also related to the high cost of the state public employees retirement system.  One ex Oregon football coach alone rakes in something like $40k a month from taxpayers for retirement.  That's a lot of dough.  Can you imagine stacking that money up on a table every month and trying to figure out what to do with all of it?

It's not the public retirees fault.  They signed on with that retirement system often the reason.  We have not had super bright legislators here in Oregon at times, who think about the future, or that things could actually change.  That might be the problem.   I don't really know.  I told my brother he'd be retired now, instead of still working six days a week, if he'd been a public employee.  He has several friends who retired early 50's because they were public employees and could retire that young.

Sometimes I think everyone should, as life gets a lot harder as you get older.  You get joint issues and bowel issues and strange diseases and you just want to sleep more and you come to understand it's all a big game and you really have no power to change a thing and.......well, you get tired out, emotionally and physically, especially if you're working stress filled hard on your body jobs like construction. Plus there's the age discrimination thing.

Once you are in your 40's, because of America's youth and looks worship culture, you're redundant and irrelevant.  My brothers have both worked so hard all their lives, devoting themselves to their jobs like they were married to them.  Now one is unemployed and the other one tired out.  I wish they had worked public jobs so they could be retired with that nice secure and generous retirement account public employees get.  I wouldn't worry so about them then.

So everything costs big time now in Oregon, if you want to get out and enjoy what we used to call public lands.  Now they are held hostage in big fees to use.

On another note, I seem to be adjusting to life without TV.  It hasn't been easy, but I think it's been good for me.  I don't even know what is going on in the world anymore, and that, I believe is a good thing!

The calls keep coming in asking help for cats.  Three yesterday.  I don't return the calls.  I can't take in more here and have no money to help get cats fixed.  There is no place locally anyhow to get it done.  KATA is having a heck of a time, getting any reservations anywhere to get any fixed right now.  They have used Heartland's surgery, and they have not had even a few spots open for ages, or Willamettte Humane's spay clinic, which also has not had openings for a long time.  Meanwhile, there are owned mother cats in Lebanon, whose first litters KATA took in, now pregnant again.  Without local high volume spay neuter options, cats are doomed here.

We do not have low cost options here.   Outside of certain people in Linn County qualify for up to four $25 vouchers a year, to use at participating vets.  But you return to the same problem, that a good share of Linn county residents who don't fix their cats don't know of this option, or have no cars or no carriers, so they can utilize it.  Or they are too dysfunctional or too entitlement oriented to use it.  And participating vets don't take feral cats, that I know of.

The FCCO does a great job in Portland with their fixed place clinic.  But there's no such option down this way.  I used to drive cats up there by the car load, but I can't anymore, due to the cost of gas and the miles on my car.  I tried to interest the two local shelters in adjoining counties, one private, the other an animal control shelter, in getting a transport van and sponsoring once monthly trips to the FCCO.  I'd trap and transport, but I don't think either shelter get it even yet, about cutting off the problem at its source, that this would be the economical common sense solution.  I still don't think either one gets it, or wants involved.  They have the potential donors, the publicity, the way to make it happen.  But...well, you know how it goes.

I tried to explain this to a young woman who lives on the block with her parents.  She came over to me all excited, thinking I would take in her friend's two kittens, from her friends unfixed female.  Her friend "got rid of" all but two.  The woman claimed "they'll take them if she doesn't get rid of them."  Emotional blackmail.  How I don't miss that.  I told her that her friend needs to get her female cat fixed.  I told her about Safehaven vouchers.  I told her her friend is costing other people a lot of money by allowing her cat to have kittens and killing other cats waiting for homes.  I told her how overloaded shelters and rescues are right now with unwanted cats and kittens.

 But it did not seem to sink in.   Not at all.  I walked away.

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