Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Perils of being Rich and Famous

Whitney Houston - Not my image

I was watching the news yesterday and there was a story about famous people and why some of them had fallen victim to substance abuse. The news anchor was interviewing author and spiritual leader, Deepak Chopra, and asking his opinion on the subject. It's something that's being talked about again because of the recent death of singer Whitney Houston and, not long ago, that of pop icon Michael Jackson.

Mr. Chopra said the feeling these stars got from being adored by countless fans was essentially like being on drugs. There was the same chemical high from dopamine (I believe) being released in the brain you got from taking illicit drugs.

If a star got hooked on this, but was no longer receiving adulation from fans (perhaps in later years when their careers started to wane) they might turn to drugs to fill the void. That was Mr. Chopra's explanation of why some stars fall victim to drug abuse.

I suppose, if you aren't strong willed, it's why you need a strong support system of friends and family who really are looking out for your best interests to keep you grounded.

Rest in Peace, Whitney.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pulling Teeth

This past Wednesday I had two teeth extracted at Dr. Reinish's office. He's a dental surgeon located at Eglinton and Warden. I was referred to him through my dentist, Dr. Lily Lo.

I got there pretty early and sat in the waiting room. After some time I was taken to another room where they were going to take two of my teeth out. They were the bottom ones at the back on the left side (number 36 and 37). I had root canals done on them in the past. But, over the years the jaw bone on that side had a series of infections. So they thought it best to extract them and put in implants.

Dr. Reinish gave me a needle to numb the area shortly after I went in the room. Before he left he said he'd come back in 10 minutes to check if it was numb enough to do the extractions.

A little while later he came back and asked me if my bottom lip felt like I had 'a fat lip'. I told him it felt a little funny, but not exactly like that yet. So he gave me another injection and said he'd come back in another 10 minutes or so.

He was gone for a long, long time. Probably more than half an hour. I guess he had someone else to operate on. I took a nap. Luckily I wasn't in a hurry to go anywhere.

When Dr. Reinish finally returned he started the extraction. Of course my lower jaw was completely numb by then. He was very good at explaining what he was doing. He mentioned I would feel tugging and pulling and would hear cracking noises (which I did) and not to be alarmed (which I wasn't). Every now and then he would enquire if I was feeling any pain or not (which I didn't).

The first tooth (#36) came out relatively easily. The second (#37) was more trouble. He had to yank pretty hard at it. I think it broke into smaller pieces. He had to get his drill out and drill it a few times too.

After he removed both teeth he cleaned the area where the infection was and sutured the opening.

I received some notes on follow up care, some gauze to stem the bleeding and a prescription for pain killers if I needed them.

Afterwards I stopped by my parents' place to pick up some supplies then went home to rest.

Surprisingly I didn't feel any pain. It's strange, but I'm not complaining. I think it was the same for me when I had my four wisdom teeth removed over 25 years ago. I don't believe I felt much pain after that either (if my memory serves me correctly).

There's still a bit of bleeding now. Hopefully it won't last too long. Blood and saliva don't taste good at all. Since I'm not supposed to disturb the area of the extractions, I'm not supposed to spit it out. But I do sometimes. Swallowing it is just nasty.

In three months I'm supposed to go back for a follow up appointment. At that point they'll assess the situation and see when they can book me to receive the implants and I'll fork over a few thousand dollars for their trouble.

Three months with a huge hole in my mouth. Ugh! Too long.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Valentine's Day Party (for Singles... Mostly)

Nalini, Virginia, Deidre, Marie, Florianne, Denise and Daryl with Tom in front.

Virginia held a Valentine's get together for all the lonely singles out there. We could keep each other company and drown our sorrows (if we so desired). Though, truth be told, there half the group were couples. It was just another excuse to get together with our friends.

I got there a bit early because I wanted to take pictures of the sun setting. Virginia lives on the 40th floor of a condo facing west at Yonge and Sheppard. I was hoping to get there by 5:00 before the sun dipped too low below the horizon. Unfortunately I was late because I had a meeting to finish up our church's 100th Anniversary book. By the time I got there the sun had already disappeared. So sad.

I took a few pictures anyway. The view was pretty nice. After that I went in to talk with Virginia and her friend Malcolm who drove in from Pembroke. They met while traveling. I can't remember where now.

In all I think about 15 people showed. Some were new to me. Others I had met at least once or twice in the past. A lot of them are friends of Tom who I play hockey with on Fridays.

I had an enjoyable time. I took lots of pictures of everything and everyone. That's what I like doing.

To top it off I did manage to get some great shots of the orange glow of the sun beneath the horizon against a dark, blue sky. I think they really look spectacular. Check my page page to see them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Smart Games - Camouflage and Airport

Not my image

I've had my nephews' Camouflage and Airport games for quite a long time now. Made by SmartGames, they're puzzle games played with clear tiles with different images on them that you have to arrange in a specific way on various game boards. The game boards range in difficulty from levels 1 to 48 (1 being the easiest and 48 the hardest).

I have to say the concept of the game, while fairly simple, is quite ingenious. I've brought the games to many gatherings and my friends and I have spent hours playing them. Everyone enjoys a challenge and these games present a substantial one, especially at the higher levels.

I'd say it's a welcome break from all the electronic gadgets we have nowadays. These games get people talking and interacting with one another. That's a good thing.

And you don't have to worry about batteries dying or not getting a Wi-Fi signal or anything like that. It's good, old-fashioned fun that encourages you to use your brain power.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CPC 100th Anniversary Book

For the past few weeks I've been working on our church's 100th Anniversary book (which happens to be way overdue). After a year of stalling we've been making our final push to get this thing completed.

It's been a lot of work. We started off strong, but after we missed our first deadline the sense of urgency left us. Last fall we figured we'd better get a move on and finish it up.

After many long hours of laying out new stories, revising old ones and going through more pictures that you could shake a stick at we finally finished production. As of Sunday, February 12th we've put this thing to bed.

Now, hopefully, the printing process will go smoothly. I'm hoping against hope there won't be any problems. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Interior Design Show 2012

Kevin, Brian and Ian talking to prospective customers at the Nadurra Bamboo Flooring booth.

I went to the Interior Design Show on Saturday before I went to Emily's for Yonni's birthday potluck. It was at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (North Building). Earlier in the week I had gone to help Rob and Michael set up their Nardurra Bamboo Flooring booth there. Rob gave me a ticket for the show.

It's only the second time I've attended the show. And the first one was a long time ago. I've always liked interior design, so I was really looking forward to going.

The show was pretty neat (which is exactly what I was expecting). There were a lot of different exhibitors showing many different things (most of which I'd never be able to afford to buy).

It's a good way of getting ideas or just seeing what's new out there though. Hopefully, if anything, it'll inspire me at least to clean up my place a little.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Yonni's Birthday

Back row - Sae, Haruka, Kelly, Laura; Front row - Emi, Yonni, Emily

Emily invited us over to her place for dinner to celebrate Yonni's birthday. It was a potluck dinner. As usual I brought apple pie that I bought from Metro. Trust me... I had everyone's best interest in mind. You don't want to eat my cooking.

Contrary to what the above picture shows it wasn't only me and the girls in attendance. As well as me, Mark, Kyle, Steven and Danny represented the boys. Only I never got a shot of them. Steven really wasn't a big fan of having Kyle and I taking many pictures. C'est la vie.

As well as Yonni's birthday we celebrated Danny and Sae getting engaged. He recently proposed. Steven played a sort of newlywed game where Sae and Danny had to answer questions to see how well they knew each other. It was kind of a silly game. Oh well.

We also sung on Emily's roomate's friend's Karaoke machine. Actually, it was mostly me who used it. It kept everyone entertained one way or another.