Been There, Done That

commentary on many different thoughts

Month: July, 2015

Boys and their Toys

My dental appointment was for a crown to replace a fairly good-sized filling that was 45 years old.  This I can deal with – I’ve spent a good part of my life in dental offices.  My dentist is a good guy, but he is male.  And, being male, is susceptible to the old adage:  the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

And my dentist got a new toy.  It’s a scanner for teeth that links to the lab, and it’s also linked to a 3D printer which can spit out a temporary crown that is exactly the size and shape (and color) of the tooth being replaced.  The lab gets the digital info as it’s being scanned, which reduces the time between the crown prep and the permanent crown in place.  All well and good.  It’s going to save a lot of time, effort and energy in the future, and reduce a lot of ill-fitting temporaries and crowns that have to go back to the lab.  There was only one problem.

I was the very first patient that they were going to use this new system on.  The rep from the manufacturer was there.  Every single one of the dental assistants wanted to watch.  And use the wand.  And see the results.  And try it themselves.  On MY mouth.  The wand is approximately an inch across, and when used to scan a molar, gets mighty, mighty uncomfortable.  The rep demonstrated.  On MY mouth.  The dentist tried it.  Then each of the assistants tried it.  Then the software gave up the ghost, so the rep went out to his truck and got another different wand scanner.  And they all had to try that.  By the time they were all happy and finished, I felt like I’d gone 3 rounds with Muhammed Ali. And they weren’t finished.

What would normally take about an hour (tooth prep, site prep and fitting a temporary) had me in the seat for 3 hours. The dentist and I have agreed that he’s going to discount my charges since I was basically the guinea pig (it felt more like a crash-test dummy) for the entire staff.  Will be interesting to see what the permanent crown is like – the temporary honestly is the identical twin of the tooth (they showed me comparison photos).  I was impressed.  But it still doesn’t mean that I like this.


If you want to see what real teamwork is, watch Chris Froome and Team Sky during the 3 weeks of the Tour de France.  Each of these bikers is a champion in his own right, but they sacrifice a chance at personal glory in order to make sure that their team leader is protected and set up for the win.

And this is what a hero does to acknowledge that teamwork.  This is crossing the finish line on the final day.


chris froome

Spray for a Bridal Table

This is what I’m making for my portfolio.  Bridal spray with peony and roses.  Gumpaste.

peony sprtoo


First try at peony.  It’s gumpaste, and I’m rather proud of it.


The Ride of a Lifetime


The best ride I ever had where I actually rode (the post on Cameo yesterday was about the time I let Cameo do all the work) was a training level event with my horse of a lifetime, Moses.  We won the dressage by a decent margin (it was October, chilly, with a brisk wind.  Moses was excited.  How do I know?  His eyes were wide open in the dressage!).  Heading into cross country, we had a good warm-up, and all of a sudden it was all very, very Zen. I saw all my distances from way out and he jumped beautifully.  We both spent the entire cross country round relaxed and enjoying ourselves.  Even had time to listen to the announcer escorting us around the course.  As we approached the water jump, I can still here “and Holy Moses is approaching the water.  Will it part for him?”  Usually, I was so tense on cross country that Magic Mike could have stripped in my path and I wouldn’t have noticed.

Stadium was great.  For some reason, I saw all my distances from the start gate.  The smoothest trip I ever had on a jumper course.  And best of all, we won the whole thing!

My Best Class Ever – Part One

In response to a request to tell about the best class I ever had at a horse show, two classes came to mind.  This is the Cameo highlight.



Cameo was my gorgeous hunter mare.  She was a daughter of Bold Ruler, and technically should have been a stakes winner.  She made enough in two years on the track to pay for one month’s training fees …  So she ended up in a professional’s barn as an amateur-owner hunter.  But she was a bit much for the amateur.  And she wasn’t quite fancy enough for the professional (although she could and did handle the 4-foot courses like silk).  So, at the end of a long journey, she came to me.

She took excellent care of me, but kept trying to persuade me to leave her alone and let her get on with her job of jumping hunter courses.  Which, of course, I had problems with.  Jimmy Cantwell, my idol, once told me that the most difficult thing to do in riding is to do nothing well.

So there we were, at a AAA show.  The first class was a mess (they posted a jumping order – we were supposed to go first – which neither my trainer nor I realized until we wandered in halfway through the class … they let me go in, but wasn’t scored).  The second class was slightly better (big indoor ring) but nothing spectacular, as I was busy trying to count strides, etc.

Our third class over fences was at 7am the next morning.  They posted the order the night before (making sure that I realized that I was posted first in the order).  I got up about 3am to braid and bathe and etc.  There was no coffee anywhere nearby.  I was sound asleep (yes, I can braid nicely in my sleep).  My trainer tossed me up on Cameo and explained the course to Cameo.  Cameo went in the ring and put in the performance of her (and my) life.  My trainer was so excited he was jumping up and down when I came out.  He sent me back in for the last trip with “I don’t know what you were doing in there, but do exactly the same thing this time”.  Needless to say, I spent the entire trip fidgeting and annoying the heck out of Cameo.

The best hunter class I ever put in was one in which I sat quietly and let the poor mare do her job.  We ended up 6th in a class of 75 (the first five were pros on greenies).  I still cherish that ribbon more than any other.