Gettysburg, PA

I headed down to Gettysburg, PA to visit the battlefields. Here are my observations:
1. 150 years following the battle, the place is still incredibly busy with visitors. If you make the trip, I recommend a weekday(s).
2. It isn’t a small battlefield, it isn’t a single battlefield, the battle raged all over the town and the surrounding hills and farms. You cannot just go to a field and say, “This is where is happened”, you actually need to drive around to several spots to see where major clashes occurred. You can hire a guide for $65 (flat fee for everyone in your car, $65 total, not each) and he/she will show you where everything happened and provide the story. Great investment!
3. There’s a museum/visitors center, you could spend 4 hours there too, really well done.It was $12.50 to get inside the museum and it included an iMax type movie on the battle. I especially enjoyed the section showing all the medical instruments they had available in those days.
4. Stayed at the Gettysburg Hotel, lovely place right in the town’s center square. Good food and drink within walking distance in all directions.
5. Over 50,000 people died in that town over 3 days of battle (approximately the number of US casualties in the entire Vietnam war), lots of ghost tours operating in town, but did not partake.
6. Would love to go again on a warmer day to wander the countryside, especially now that I know where I am going and where the major events happened. 

Dentist/Twitter/Music Recommendation

For the first time in my life, I walked into the dentist with a swagger. I have been brushing & flossing regularly, to the point where I’ve become somewhat addicted. So, I laid back onto the dentist chair with full confidence that there would be no pain, no bleeding, the only thing I anticipated was compliments on my dental hygiene. It did not play out that way.

The dental assistant explained that they no longer use that sharp steel curved pick that scraped plaque off your teeth (by the way, isn’t it funny that a plaque on your wall is wonderful, but plaque on your teeth is terrible, perhaps plaques on your teeth are the recognition for consecutive days not brushing!). The new device is some high pressure water blaster that washes the plaque right off your teeth, even better I thought, that metal scraper was a bit intimidating, especially when they hooked that curved jagged steel around your tooth, grabbed a piece of your gum and stabbed it until you were bleeding profusely.  My confidence level was soaring, they’re going to spray my teeth with some water and conclude that I’m on top of my game and let me go home with a brand new tooth brush.

It took me about 3 milliseconds to realize that this new device was even more diabolical than the curved metal pick, I felt like I was transported to some torture room in Guantanamo Bay. This instrument not only delivered significant pain that caused me to clench my fists in an attempt to keep from crying, but the water blaster of horror managed to penetrate deep into the nerves of my teeth. Goodness gracious, I may have appeared still on the outside, but it took all the restraint I had to keep myself from writhing in pain.

She finished up after 5 minutes and said, “I’m seeing a little bleeding, but for the most part your teeth look pretty healthy. Are you sure you’re flossing correctly?”

What I wanted to say is, “Are you sure you’re using that god damn device properly, in the past 3 months I’ve been bitten by a poisonous spider, melted the skin on the back of my leg by leaning against a lawn mower, and had a herniated disc in my back and none of these compare to the torture endured by you and that device”.

What I did say was “Yes, I floss all the time using the Reach floss tool and I am pretty thorough.”

She replied, “Are you right handed?” and I said yes.”Well, maybe that’s why your not getting your entire mouth, you gravitate more to the opposite side”.

I wasn’t going to argue it anymore, I said sure, whatever, give me my free tooth brush, I am outta here. But this is fracturing my trust in the dental industry, what other medical office do you go in feeling perfectly fine and leave feeling horrible? I thought it should be the opposite? Not only do they torture you and leave you in significant pain, then they shame you about your flossing. Bastards.

Okay, next subject: Twitter.

I was stalking someone the other day (first rule about stalking is that you never reveal who you are stalking) and it pulled up their Twitter account. I tried reading their posts and it was like talking to a sleep deprived Jim Morrison on LSD, a bunch of incoherent gibberish that was in no way linear. It wasn’t just the person I was stalking, everyone is just emitting mindless rubbish.  It also made me happy to have a blog, my frequency of communications is slowing down, but 10 years from now, it will still be coherent.

Final subject: Allen Toussaint
This is a blues jazz album, I think only one song has words, but it delivers you into the best of worlds. You could play it at a party, after a breakup, in a dive bar, in the Ritz, it is totally classy, hip, legit, honest, clean and dirty, I implore you to ask me for a copy of the CD and see if it takes you anywhere.