Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bad History, Teeth, Cats, Idiots

Bad History

I watched the first two episodes of "Sons of Liberty" on the History Channel. I might watch the final episode tonight, but it's hard. It makes good TV I guess, but it's lousy history.

I don't know why I'm surprised. Despite its name, there's an awful lot of non-historical crap on the History Channel.

Through the first two hours of the show I kept throwing up my hands, and a couple of times had to leave the room. It's like that Heath Ledger movie, "A Knight's Tale," which supposedly is about jousting knights and treats them like rock stars – literally, considering some of the music was by Queen. There's a 21st century mindset or attitude that I guess is supposed to help us "get" the issues. But what it really does is hide what's real about those times and those people under a simplistic veneer.

And in the movie, they were fictional characters in a fictional setting. In "Sons of Liberty," these are real people. They really existed and really did things that created this country. And the History Channel's effort gives lip service to some of it, short cuts, truncates and oversimplifies most of it, and then just makes stuff up because it makes good TV.

I forget who said "History is a great story that just happened to have really taken place," but there's a lot to that. I just wish the History Channel had bothered to tell the story that really happened.


Went to the dentist last week. That's not particularly noteworthy, except it was the first time in six and a half years. The last time I went to the dentist it was about a couple of teeth towards the back that were breaking off, chip at a time. Necrotic (dead.) Not painful, just kind of annoying. That dentist told me how we'd take care of it over the next few months if treatment. I pointed out that I was moving to St. Croix in three days, and that was that.

So now that I'm covered on Tori's dental and optical insurance, she insisted I go to the dentist. It wasn't bad. Not painful. Yet. Now I have a treatment plan that the insurance will cover about half of. And some of it – scraping and planing and removing the roots of those two missing teeth – does not not sound painless.

But I'm a grownup, and I recognize that if I don't do something, I'll probably lose most of them. So I'll do it.

But first I've got a doctor's appointment next week. Haven't been to a doctor in eight years, since I didn't have insurance. Now I do thanks to the Affordable Care Act (thank you, President Obama.) I could have signed on to Tori's health insurance at work, but adding me would have been so expensive there'd almost be no point in her working.

I feel fine. Not great. I will turn 60 this year and there's plenty of little things. But mostly I feel fine. I've got a list of little nagging things that will make him sit up and keep him busy for a while, running tests and whatnot.

And with new glasses – that's also on the agenda – I'll soon be a new man.

I just hope I'm still funny.


We are down to zero cats – we're 3 of 3.

In November, Tori brought a kitten home from the Spaymart adoption center for us to foster. She was sick, couldn't be with the other cats. We fed Jane (Tori had named her Jane Austen) and fattened her up, took her in for her shots and neutering, played with her, shared the computer with her, cleared up her ear mites, and took her back so that someone could adopt her. She was a Christmas present for two young kids and is now a pampered and beloved member of that family. They brought photos by the Spaymart the other day.

While we were fostering Jane, Tori brought home Lucy. We were told she needed some discipline, she was unruly, attacked and bit and was unsociable. Sounded fun. She had been found on a boat. Young, probably not more than six weeks old, she was still a little feral and HATED being in the cage at Spaymart. Hissed, growled, bit. It took her a day to get comfortable in our house, but playing with Jane, she got used to us.

In fact, she quickly showed her true colors. She was a little love. She still played kind of wildly. Every morning for about an hour she'd be sort of manic, so much so that we thought maybe Lucy was short for Lucifer, but all of a sudden she'd leap – absolutely leap – into my lap while I was trying to work. She'd scrambled up my leg, up my chest (I still have a few scratches from that) and perch on or near my shoulder, purring. It's hard to type one handed. If you sat in the recliner, any time of the day or night, you were almost certain to wind up with a cat purring on your chest, vigorously rubbing the top of her head into your chin.

But every time Tori brought her back to the Spaymart she went berserk. It was all Tori could do to hold on to her, but no one else could touch her. So she'd come back here.

We tried bringing another cat home to help Lucy socialize. but she was more standoffish than Lucy ever was. Lucy actually helped her socialize, rather than the other way around.

After a couple of weeks, we took the third cat (who had been given the unfortunate name Sweetie Pie. Max temporarily renamed her Bon Quee Quee) back to Spaymart, and she was finally adopted last weekend. back to Spaymart in the hope she'd get adopted.

Which left us with Lucy, and I was getting worried that she'd never get adopted. But Tori put ads on Facebook and Craigslist, and we got a call from a couple that were looking for a cat and thought she was the one. They came by and, instead of hissing and running away like I'd expected, Lucy played with the woman. And the guy has a beard, which Tori is convinced was an important part of the cat's imprinting on me. So she's adopted and I heard today from her new family that she's settled in, happy and loved.

We got them when they were kittens, and got to help them find families. And now they're out, and we don't have to deal with cats. Mission accomplished.

Until Tori brings the next one home.


Tori has been having lots of fun with her Galaxy pad, my Christmas present to her. She just found (on Hulu) and binge watched a show that makes "America's Next Top Model" look like Shakespeare. It's called (ironically, I think/hope) "America's Most Smartest Model."

It pits models, male and female, in both modeling competition and quizzes by none other than that asshole Ben Stein. And those parts are hilarious.

My favorite was the blonde (had to be, right?) who somehow managed to last five episodes even though it was obvious she would not stand out intellectually in a vat of toothpaste. Asked the last name of Napoleon, she "thought" – if that's what you want to call it – for almost a minute and then blurted out, "Pierre?" Kudos to her for trying French (though Napoleon was Corsican, which would have blown her tiny mind.)

Even better was when asked "Who assassinated John F. Kennedy?" You could practically hear the hamsters in her head spinning the wheel as she thought and thought, and finally, desperately, said, "Brad?" I'm laughing just typing it.

There were others even stupider than her, but somehow not as flamboyantly stupid. When she finally got eliminated, her last words on camera were a whine, then "Oh no! I really AM dumb!"

And in the final salute to inanity, "America's Most Smartest Model" was won by a Russian. Go figure.

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