Debate Download

God help me, but I watched the Republican debate tonight.  UJ — who for some mysterious reason lacks a functioning TV — decided he wanted to come over and watch the debate, and Kish and  I watched it with him.

My thoughts?  The Trump balloon popped tonight.  The forever-frowning Donald looked like a self-mocking SNL skit up there.  He’s a pompous blowhard who obviously doesn’t know much about the issues at a granular level, and it shows.  When he talks about how his businesses are taking “advantage of the federal laws” he’s not exactly speaking to the lives of normal Americans.  I think we’ve seen the scowling, high water mark of the populist uncandidate.

As for the rest of the field, I thought Ben Carson was a clear loser until the last few questions, when he recovered somewhat.  I was surprised by how well John Kasich fared.  I thought Chris Christie and Marco Rubio did well, and I have to believe that the evangelical element poses clear upper limits for Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz.  Jeb Bush seemed to flounder a bit, Scott Walker is Everyman, and Rand Paul looks likes he’s wears a wild animal pelt on his scalp.  Let’s see . . . have I forgotten anyone?

I’ll say this for the Republican debate tonight:  I’m not sure you’re getting much nuance and sophistication in answers that are limited to 1 minute — or in some cases 30 seconds — but it was fast-moving.  What does it mean?  I think nothing.

When Teeth Are Like Garage Floors

Yesterday I had one of my periodic tooth cleaning appointments.  This time, after already using the pointy-ended scrapers and the flat scrapers, the ultrasonic scaler, the water spray, the buffer, and the dental floss, the hygienist frowned thoughtfully.

“The tongue side of your teeth still has some staining,” she said with some impatience, as her rubber-gloved hands probed my incisors.  “I’m going to try a new procedure.”

Whhgl?” I responded.

The procedure first involved draping me with towels that covered all parts of my upper body except my mouth and left me unable to see — which was itself a weird sensation when you know the person hovering over you is wielding sharp implements.  “There’s a bit of a spray,” she explained.  She then proceeded to blow puffs of particulate matter against my teeth — which was an even weirder sensation, because humans normally seek to avoid getting clouds of dust in their mouths.  But after numerous puffings and rinsings and suctionings, she removed the towels and expressed evident satisfaction at the result.

All this, to address the apparent dinginess on the back side of my teeth that no one sees.

If you go regularly to a dental hygienist — as 9 out of 10 dentists say you should — you eventually realize that the hygienist community is simply borrowing cleaning techniques initially used in American garages.  First, it was simple scraping and scaling, like a homeowner using a hoe to try to remove flattened globs of gum or tar from a cement floor.  Then it was powerwashing, with those pulsating jets of water that leave your face coated with a fine, wet mist.  And now, with this dust-puffing device, hygienists have adopted sandblasting.

What’s next?  Using powerful chemical solvents?  If you want to see what’s coming down the pike in periodontal technology advances, I suggest you just check here.