When it comes to dentistry, be glad you live in the 21st century

Posted By on October 17, 2018

missingtoothsmileyfaceThere was a time we winced at dentistry pre-20th century (some still do today), but imagine going to an Egyptian dentist back in 2000BC or there about? Yikes!

"Egyptians were very comfortable with and knowledgeable about the human body. Mummifying bodies required them to drain the blood and extract the organs leading to a basic understanding of the human anatomy. EgyptianDentalWork2000BCDoctors wrote up manuals on how to perform surgical procedures, cure bites and stings, and mend bones. It is in one of these manuals that the first evidence of dentistry is found; as old as when some of the first pyramids were built. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus, written sometime before 3000 B.C. gives instructions on how to heal and treat wounds in the mouth. Although there were detailed instructions about curing mouth problems, the evidence and writings within this time lead people to believe that the actual teeth were still considered untreatable. Minor dental work was performed, and slowly over time this would grow to be more complex procedures. The earliest signs of dental surgery were between 3000 and 2500 B.C. and usually involved drilling out cavities or pulling teeth. It might be hard to imagine having your teeth drilled into without the comfort of shots and happy gas, but Egyptians by 1550 B.C had prescriptions for dental pain and injuries. Through all these years, there has never been any evidence in mummies or writings that mechanical or false teeth were ever used. It has stumped researches as they struggle to believe that such intelligent and lavish people didn’t have artificial teeth in place of missing front teeth."

Phoenician Dentistry

A little tool/chisel history that should remain in our family

Posted By on October 16, 2018

While sharpening my chisels and practicing my hand-cut joinery last weekend, I remembered that I added a "new to me" wood chisel to my tool roll when sorting tools from my late father-in-law’s barn. It was too large for the current project, but looks as if the steel might hold an edge better than my cheap Chinese steel chisels.


What is unique about this older rectangular handled chisel is that it belonged to my wife Brenda’s Swedish grandfather (her mom’s dad) who was a furniture maker in western New York (Jamestown NY was once a proud American furniture making town). I’m looking forward to putting an edge back on it and using it for a future project … and perhaps marking it with some tape so my kids don’t just toss it when I’m gone!


My hand-cut practice dovetail and a few kerfs from three different "thin kerf" saws

Mm, Mm, Mm, Music Monday: Broken by Jack Johnson

Posted By on October 15, 2018

iPodShuffleIt’s an on the road Music Monday … and I realized my OLD iPod Shuffle is loaded with almost all Jack Johnson songs. No problem picking one out  … how about track two from Johnson’s 2005 Curious George album called Broken … although can’t think of any music he has recorded that I dislike?

While prepping this post, remembered a post from 2012 that I recorded on my first iPad while driving and listening to him host on SiriusXM!

  Broken – Jack Johnson | 2005


(from "Sing-A-Longs And Lullabies For The Film Curious George" soundtrack)

With everything ahead of us
We left everything behind
But nothing that we needed
At least not at this time
And now the feeling that I’m feeling
Well it’s feeling like my life is finally mine
With nothing to go back to we just continue to drive
Without you I was broken
But I’d rather be broke down with you by my side
I didn’t know what I was looking for
So I didn’t know what I’d find
I didn’t know what I was missing
I guess you’ve been just a little too kind
And if I find just what I need
I’ll put a little peace in my mind
Maybe you’ve been looking too
Or maybe you don’t even need to try
Without you I was broken
But I’d rather be broke down with you by my side
With everything in the past
Fading faster and faster until it was gone
Found out I was losing so much more than I knew all along
Because everything I’ve been working for
Was only worth nickels and dimes
But if I had a minute for every hour that I’ve wasted
I’d be rich in time, I’d be doing fine
Without you I was broken
But I’d rather be broke down with you by my side

Fox Business shuffles their TV talent and expands their live shows

Posted By on October 14, 2018

press_fbn_logosAs a business news junkie, I’ve been watching Fox Business since I "demanded it" (as Neil Cavuto would tell viewers in the early days of the portrait_19850expansion Fox network). They have steadily grown and have become serious competition for CNBC (watched/listen since it’s debuted) and BloombergTV. Fox Business has mixed in far more general news and "conservative" politics than the others … so that is a bit more tolerable (even though I purposely tune into NPR or other networks when driving just for some balance). The mix along with solid show hosts (most experienced from their competitors) have made this format work as their rating continue to rise.

For me, the way to watch/listen is SiriusXM ever since it came with my Honda Pilot instead on 2003VWJettTDIsetup070828television. Prior to that, I’d stream a degraded bitrate CNBC feed from my home TV & computer using Windows Media Encoder or used a Slingbox to the car computer or Palm Treo. Most of the time out of the X5 nowadays I use the SiriusXM iPhone app and After Shokz bone conduction headphones which have proven to be a perfect match for my level of hearing loss … besides the listening is so discreet that I can hold a conversation while SiriusXM channel 113 is playing.

Back to the FoxBusiness shows and their new line-up. The morning looks unchanged with FBN:am from 5-6AM, my favorite wake-up show called Mornings with Maria with Maria Bartiromo from 6-9AM followed by Varney & Co from 9 – 12 noon and Neil Cavuto’s Coast to Coast from 12 – 2PM. What has changed is the afternoon and evening live line up … stretching the live broadcasts and extra hour.

Beginning October 15th, the new lineup will feature:

2pm: Making Money with Charles Payne
3pm: Countdown to the Closing Bell with Liz Claman
4pm: After the Bell with Melissa Francis and Connell McShane
5pm: Bulls & Bears with David Asman
6pm: The Evening Edit with Elizabeth MacDonald
7pm: Lou Dobbs Tonight
8pm: Trish Regan Primetime
9pm: Kennedy Live

The 4-cycle Troy-Bilt String trimmer is great, but …

Posted By on October 14, 2018


Eleven years ago I replaced my noisy 1980’s 2-cycle John Deere brand "heavy" string trimmer with a much quieter 4-cycle Troy Bilt trimmer (Pony TB465SS). Both were, and are, used heavily as I’ve always had acres of yard to tend. At first glance it was obvious that the John Deere "back in the day" was made much better and would hold up much longer, but sometimes cheaper is ok too in our throw away society.

Unfortunately just like with other small engines, the weak link seems to be the many plastic parts that seem to degrade with age, the elements and ethanol in gasoline. This past weekend it was the primer plastic bubble  … that is the part that has failed on every yard gizmo that I own. Chain saws, "lady" tillers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and now string trimmers (the John Deere did not have a primer).

One would think this is a part in particular could be made a little bit better?


What a good looking car – 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

Posted By on October 13, 2018


A friend from a Facebook group posted a 1982 Mercedes Benz advertisement with a W123 beauty – I thought it looked pretty close to my ‘82 MB 300D Turbodiesel. Nice!

When the W123 went out of production in 1986 it had surpassed the Stroke Eight as the bestselling Mercedes-Benz with more than 2.5 million cars sold. Mercedes built the car to last, and many are still on the road today. As a testament to the car’s longevity, it is popular in Africa as a bush taxi, covering thousands of miles of rough roads with only basic maintenance. The 3.0-liter inline 5 diesel in the 300D, while lacking in power, is considered to be one of the most reliable engines ever built. The timeless design is sure to last as long as the car itself, making this car a classic that is here to stay.


Hurricanes and the stock market – duh, it’s October

Posted By on October 12, 2018

IndexPerformance181011Q: Why am I not surprised to see U.S. stocks extend Wednesday’s ugly losses with more selling on Thursday?

A: Because it is October!

Well because the talking heads that “I listen to” point out just how strong our economy is and that corporate earnings are strong, consumer confidence high and the regulation and tax cuts are just now being felt by companies and individuals in the U.S. The Federal Reserves seems to believe in the economy too … otherwise they would not be raising rates to prevent the economy from overheating and shedding holding on their balance sheet while times are good. From my perspective, all of this plus trade agreements with Mexico andtradewarimage Canada give me confidence that the economy should continue to be strong.

My 3 big concerns at the moment are 1) a trade war with China, 2) the mounting U.S. debt and continuing deficits and 3) the mid-term elections puttingBarrelOfOil Democrats back in the Congressional majority … who oppose practically everything the GOP has accomplished and are laser focused on stopping President Trump. Thinking about that and with 20-20 hindsight, it would have been wise to have sold stocks in September and waited on the sidelines until after November’s election.

Energy stocks, meanwhile, were the biggest losers in the index, sliding 2.6% as U.S. crude oil fell 2.2% to $70.94 a barrel.


While the recent selloff adds to the pain that many emerging markets have felt in recent months, U.S. stocks had largely been isolated from that turmoil. That changed Wednesday, with the Dow industrials falling 832 points, or 3.2%, and the S&P 500 dropping 3.3%.


The narrative in focus in the market over the past week has been on growing concerns that interest rates will keep rising in response to strong U.S. economic growth and unbridled inflation, and in turn higher financing costs will dent corporate profitability.

WSJ Thursday wrap up

As for Hurricane Michael 2018, the panhandle of Florida was hit hard. The death count is believed to be 18 (updated 10/13) and many cities are in ruins. As mentioned a couple days ago, the impact point was Mexico Beach and from the aerial video, it looks totally destroyed (we loved vacationing in the area and regularly visited Sharon’s Cafe after beachcombing as a family).

CNN video and photos below the break




Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.