The Ugly T(r)ooth of US Dentistry

It was Saturday night when I realized that my ongoing attempts to delay a much needed visit to the dentist were not going to be operative moving forward.  Suffice to say that the amount of misery that unceremoniously struck me that evening was a rude reminder of the degree of pain that one’s own body can inflict upon itself under the right/wrong conditions.  It’s as if Providence decided right there Saturday night, that it was time for my physical suffering to match that of the emotional pain I’m dealing with watching Trump trying to turn the United States into his own little Banana Republic.  But I digress…

Saturday night was fitful, with periods of semi-peace interrupted by brief sufferings mimicking nothing short of Medieval torture, but Sunday had me waking relatively pain free, figuring I could probably hold out til Monday when surely there’d be more dental options.  I can’t speak for everybody in America, but there are more than a few of us with a disdain for dentists so ingrained that a little Medieval torture seems like a fair trade off to avoid them.  Besides, I’d already made arrangements with Thomas, an old coworker friend of mine from 7-11, for an early Sunday round of Disc Golf, though that was before I knew that Saturday evening was going to be a challenging nightmare from Hell.  I mentioned my issue with tooth pain to Thomas when confirming our plans to meet at Poudre Middle School on Sunday morning and he offered and brought me a tube of OraGel which I applied lavishly upon his arrival.

We leisurely walked several rounds of nine hole disc golf in the cool breeze of the high mountain meadows morning.  In the ensuing Battle Royale, I was soundly thrashed beyond all hope and recognition as Thomas put on a disc golf show he’d previously been hiding, presumably up his ass somewhere.  I think he was taking out his frustration and aggravation on somebody smashing his car door with their foot, leaving both a huge dent and a matching dusty shoe print in the process.  Normally I could use such distractions to my advantage but I was a bit wrung out from the night’s torture sessions and didn’t really feel like inflicting the extra emotional carnage on Thomas that he’s come to expect from me.  Next time I’ll have to double up on the distracting old guy rants if I want to have any chance of upending these youngish middle-aged sport sharks.  Be assured, he took no mercy on me whatsoever during the round.  I’d have preferred to win but not having done so is no reason to denigrate the good time we had.

In what had to be one of the most awkward goodbyes in the Hipster Era, Thomas left me simultaneously writhing in pain, and wishing him a good day from my cot in Nellybelle because ‘the pain’ decided to go Level 10 at that moment and I was hopeless against it.

It was Thomas who mentioned Comfort Dental in Loveland, informing me that they accept my government dental benefits.  Thomas is close enough to being poor I knew he’d have advice on poor people health and dental care options.  I zeroed in on the Comfort Dental in Loveland near the Walmart at 57th and 287 for first thing Monday morning.  End Part One.

#hoboheretic  Enjoy.

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Now What?

Good morning everyone!  Been awhile since I posted a long form missive on my blog, so those of you who aren’t following me on Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp etc. might want to take a trip to my Social page  if you want to keep better track of me.  As it is, I’m generally pretty busy keeping track of myself.  Here’s my latest attempt at summarizing my situation, my moods and my many mirth-filled meanderings.

Realtime Tim

I’m sitting here this morning under the heavy shade of an abnormally mature tree in the parking lot of a collection of strip malls.  This tree was probably planted when the (now defunct) K-Mart opened, which I expect was in the 70’s.  I was already in junior high back then and now I’m sitting next to a tree that’s probably 45 years old.  It’s a bit humbling realizing that this tree is really only just getting started and I’m already inching towards the finish line.

Anyway, it’s barely 8:30 but I’ve been up since around 7:00, which is about an hour after sunrise and the normal start of a working day for me. I slept in the lot at work last night so I could recharge my laptop and wake-up to a free cup of coffee (and a close bathroom…lol) before rolling out of the lot to my current location.  I just happen to have the day off and am taking full advantage of the cool breeze and morning tranquility (none of the stores are open yet) to compose this missive and upload it on some very excellent free wifi near enough I can snatch it from my post here in the van.  A homeless guy just wandered by, looked back over his shoulder at me and commented “Nice setup you have there”.  Perspective, folks, perspective.

Perspective

Unlike so many of YouTube van and RV channels, I don’t bounce around the country like a BB in a paint can.  That’s far too expensive and way too much work IMHO.  I’m much more ‘grounded’.  I’ve been at the same job and the same ‘address’ almost since the day I arrived here in Colorado.  I am a known quantity up and down these urban streets and benefit greatly from the respect I receive from people on all social levels.  For better or worse, I’ve become somewhat notorious around here.

It’s kinda funny.  I’m a beacon of hope for both the homeless and the home bound.

Brother Can You Spare a Dime?

I do my best to act as a role model for the many homeless and beleaguered souls I cross paths with as a result of my occupational awareness of the issues they confront.  They often have very little, so it’s no surprise that they are impressed with my setup.  I always point out to them that I got where I am from where they are (economically at least) on what amounts to $8.50 an hour (after my 15% loss for student loan extraction) in about two years.  Let me note that all too often, the individuals I encounter have already squandered more free resources than those I have earned.  They’ve squandered (and will likely continue to squander) every opportunity presented.  I’m not assigning blame, just noting for the record.

Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is a hard thing to do if you are not if full possession of all your faculties and therefore, I do not mean to impugn the failures of those with far less fabulosity than I have.

It’s extremely difficult to wipe off your boots when the rug is constantly being pulled out from under you.

You Play Golf!!!??

On the other side of the economic spectrum are the more affluent, who have also taken an interest in me, generally because I’m so freaking fabulous overall and specifically because I manage to do it all while living out of an ancient minivan.  Old as she is, Nelly Belle cleans up well, runs well, and has an interior modeled after the inside of Jeannie’s bottle (if Jeannie had a 32 inch flatscreen).  I keep the interior sharp as a tack.  Neatness counts.   I sense a lot of envy from guys who are undoubtedly making way more money than I am, just as I can sense a bit of resentment and jealousy from others because I can afford to be so carefree.  Being a working, widowed, single male with no family responsibilities and no house payment certainly allows me much greater financial flexibility that many (most?) people making way more than me.  Yeah, I play golf, and don’t be surprised if you see me dining at a restaurant you assumed I was priced out of.  I’m 100% dedicated to making my life as pleasant and stress free as is humanly possible and I’m dam good at it. This fact alone is enough to engender fear and loathing towards me in at least a small subset of the population, most notably that recalcitrant 35% of folks still swinging off Trump’s nutsack.

Politics

Trump is a lying scumbag.  Was before the election.  Has been since the election.  Probably should be in jail or geriatric care.  If he fires Mueller I’ve already informed my boss that I’m immediately going on strike.  I’ll be out in the streets with a placard along the highway within fifteen minutes of that news.  I encourage other true patriots do the same.

Relationship Status

It’s complicated right now but be assured that the glorious and sordid details would shock and amuse you.  The blurb on any potential autobiography will undoubtedly be “A Must Read”.

YouTube

I’ve shifted quite a bit of my creative output to YouTube over the last couple years and will probably continue to do so.  I’ll continue to post here on my WordPress blog as time and situation warrant.

Near Future

Re-retirement at the end of the year and a hard shift to finding land and building my tiny home.

Enjoy.

Northwest Parkway Snafu

I received what I presume is an automated billing in the mail today from a company that runs a toll road here in Colorado. It’s from an outfit called Northwest Parkway and I found their bill a bit disconcerting since I had not knowingly traveled any toll roads in the state in the last six months (or ever).

Their Detailed Account Activity

Upon examination, their “Detailed Account Activity”  ‘tags’ me at “Sheridan” back on the fourth of May at precisely 5:21:16.   This inevitably led me to the question: “Where was I and what was I doing that time of day on the fourth of May?”, as well as, “Where the hell is Sheridan?”.  I grabbed my trusty iPhone and started scrolling back to May 4th on my Facebook timeline.

My boss chimed in, “You were off on the fourth”, before I had even scrolled back thru my latest week of posts.  As I continued to scroll (and scroll and scroll), plowing thru a feed littered with the refuse of posts responding to the various high crimes and misdemeanors of President Pantywaist, I scoured my brain trying to figure out how I could have unwittingly fallen into a tollway trap.

To be clear, the amount is nil ($2.35) and it might be easier to pay it than protest, but I’m protesting since I have solid proof I was nowhere near anyplace named Sheridan on that time of day on the fourth of May.  

I am acting as the canary in the coal mine on this one folks.  Consider this a test of the customer service department of Northwest Parkway.  They will be provided a link to this story as well as my email address thru their online customer service form.  They provide no pre-formatted options to contest a bill that I could find on their website and since I’ll be forced to ‘tell’ this story to them at some point it seemed easier to document it out here and now.  My faith in corporate nature leads me to suspect they would not believe me on the basis of a friendly telephone contact alone.  I will share their response as an educational offering once I receive their reply.

My Detailed Account Activity

Where was I on that day and time?  Sitting next to Lake Loveland most of the afternoon,  before pulling up stakes and driving around the lake to the golf course on 29th (Cattail Creek) around a quarter after five.  How can I be so sure? Blame it on my propensity to check in on Facebook/Yelp with such consistency if you must, but here are the screen shots off my iphone showing the check-in dates and times.  I checked into the course at 5:35.

Conclusion

The only “Sheridan” I can find seems to be an hour or more away from Loveland and my dear van Nelly Belle just ain’t up to those kinds of warp speeds.  I believe I have been shafted by ‘machine intelligence’ gone amok.  Now all that remains to be seen is if it’s too late for the humans to help me.
Enjoy.

Loose Endings

No Longer an Okie from MuskogeeHeading West

My time in Wagoner, OK has come to a close. I packed my life back into my four suitcases and me and Bandit headed down the road in search of a better tomorrow early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Though things didn’t work out as well as I had hoped for in Oklahoma, I’m grateful for the opportunity and thankful for the companionship my host family provided me during my time there.

Adventures in Fund RaisingToledo Scale

Friday, I finished up with my “Great Aluminum Can Adventure” by taking the cans I’d collected during my daily walks with Bandit to the local recycling center. It was a lot of fun and a bit of an adventure wandering the streets around Wagoner, snatching cans and taking photographs as we toured the area. I’d estimate we traversed a good twenty miles in the eight to ten hours we spent wandering around aimlessly. The final aluminum tally was twenty pounds collected and the payout was eight bucks (at forty cents a pound), leading to an average of a bit less than a dollar an hour payout. I wouldn’t recommend it as a career move, but I do enjoy walking with Bandit in the evenings for fun and health anyway. Getting paid for doing it is a bonus and better than paying out for a gym membership!

If you are feeling charitable you can help support me in my struggle to rebuild my life from scratch by tossing a nickel into my emergency relocation fund.

Next up? Memphis.

Enjoy.

In the Meantime

Muskogee to Memphis

Hell's Hole, OK

While I am working on soliciting donations to continue on my path down the road of life I am not sitting idly by twiddling my thumbs and toes just because there doesn’t seem to be an employer in my local vicinity who is interested in employing me at slave wages and exploiting my superlative set of skills.  I don’t get too bummed out by that seemingly incomprehensible set of circumstances given the overall state of educational and economic depravity I’m surrounded by.  It’s just further evidence of the bad decision making skills of the people in the area.  LOL.

In the Meantime

Yes You Can

In the meantime I’m spending my time doing what any able bodied homeless vet (or bag lady) would do given the ‘opportunities’ that present themselves in the land of the free and the home of the brave.  I’m out collecting aluminum cans.  I have no idea what they are worth as I have yet to actually sell any of them but they must have some intrinsic value greater than zero or our cities wouldn’t be overwhelmed with images of homeless folks pushing shopping carts stacked to the brim with them.

Making do

I’d mow lawns if I had a lawn mower.  I’d do some other odd job if I hadn’t lost all my tools in my moves back and forth beyond the oceanic horizon. Lacking a vehicle does nothing to improve my situation one bit as I’m sure there are some jobs right outside my limited field of travel that I might be able to bag but given my experience to date I wouldn’t call that a ‘slam dunk’ either.

Sonic Tim

I’d put on a pair of roller skates and deliver your slush and corn dog order to your car at the local Sonic for that matter,  but I guess the sight of a skinny ass old guy wheeling around in their parking lot isn’t as desirable in terms of public perception as I had otherwise hoped it would be when I wandered into the place based on their “Walk In applications welcome on Tuesdays” flashing sign, only to find that “walking in” for the application required I first do their online application (WTF?) which of course I did before returning for my walk-in application the following Tuesday!   I’m nothing if not persistent and I’m trying to put to rest the tired stereotype that folks who want to work can easily find jobs because that’s as old a trope as “both parties in this country are the same, so why bother voting at all”.  Vote for Bernie Sanders, 2016.  Before it’s too late.

Enjoy.