REMINDER: Quit looking for a hero or friend or partner in politics

We conservatives tend to be idol worshippers, focusing all of our efforts on the candidate. If it’s a good candidate, we support and help. If it’s a bad candidate we lambaste and oppose. Remember what Friedman said

“It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t the way you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.”

He was talking about Congressmen, but it’s a philosophy that applies equally to the President and to an entire party.

in thiis race, it’s Clinton v. Trump. One of those two will be the next President. You may be happy about that, you may be sad about that. You may fee embarrassed and ashamed that these are our pathetic choices. You may not want either one. I’m very sorry, but this country has survived bad Presidents before, we’ll survive this time, too.

The President is NOT the avatar of your self-worth. If he or she is a despicable human being (they both pretty much are), your support for one or the other doesn’t mean that YOU are a despicable human being.

Our job as responsible citizens of this Republic is to make a decision about which one of these wrong people can be best influenced to do the right things and then behave accordingly.

We know how Clinton is influenced, and we know who has the influence with her. It’s not us. She not only doesn’t care if we oppose her, she PREFERS that we oppose her. A weakend GOP Senate and House will not be able to persuade her of anything – she’ll have the backing of all Democrats, media, education, popular culture, and big business. At best, the GOP may be able to mitigate some of the horrors she is intent on. Perhaps instead of banning all guns and ammunition purchases, we’ll just have registration and application for permission to buy.

After 8 years of holding Obama back on some things, the public choosing “4 more years” of Obama policies will have a very strong pull on the GOPers who have always been squishy. Clinton victory will be a very strong message that the nation wants what the progressive left is selling, it will be more politically profitable for the GOP to do their thing than our thing. You know this.

We also know how Trump is influenced. He must be seen as winning, as smart. There’s some chance that a weakened GOP can have some influence there. Not much, but more than zero. We can make it politically profitable for Trump to do the right thing, in some circumstances.

Put away the anger and sadness, put away the disappointment, and get ruthlessly logical. If we are to have any influence over the head of the federal government, any at all, it’s Trump that has to be there.

My Invisalign Journey – 2. Settling In and Setting Up

Previous articles in the series: Prologue, Part 1

I’m now home, with set 1 on my teeth, and sets 2-10 in a bag. I also have two small travel containers for the trays. There’s also this rubber device I can use to help seat the trays if I need it. I am on my own until my next appointment in 10 weeks.  My way of eating and drinking is over, and I’m in this strange new world I wasn’t entirely prepared for.

First thing to do is set everyting up in the bathroom, and figure out some sort of timing mechanism. Yes, I’m determined to do this right (MASSIVE $$ investment, I’m not going to be careless), so I’m going to make SURE that I don’t have these things out for more than 2 hours in a day. I’m going to clock it.

Timers
There are timer apps on my phone, my tablet, my laptop, and my desktop computer. I have a timer in the kitchen.

  • The kitchen timer is ruled out, since I’ll be using this thing every day for at least a year.
  • Desktop and laptop apps are ruled out. I’m going to be managing this in the bathroom, so I want something right there that’s easy.
  • Apps on the phone or tablet are what I start with.

During the first week I tire of using apps for timing. I have to remember to bring the phone or tablet with me when it’s time to take out my teeth. Then, with wet hands, I’m unlocking the device, opening the app, and hitting start or stop on the timer. It works of course, but it’s just kind of annoying. I’m going to be starting and stopping a timer multiple times a day, every day, for over a year. This is exactly the kind of task that calls for a purpose-built device with a physical button rather than an “occasional use” app. So off to Walmart I go.

They have a few timers, in the kitchen gadget aisle, that advertise the ability to count up – that’s what I want. Hit the button to start, hit the button to stop, and at the end of the day it needs to be less than 2 total hours. There’s a $5 one, and being cheap, that’s what I get. After 2 weeks it pretty much craps out on me, so I end up buying the $20 one after all. Should have just started with that. It’s great – easy to use buttons and it tracks more than 99 minutes, so it’s totally clear how much time I’ve had my teeth out.

Note that I’m currently unemployed, and at home most of the time, so this works for me. If I were out and about more, I’d probably use a timer app that travels better, because portability would become the more important feature.

Tray Management
I have 10 little plastic bags with my trays in them. They’re numbered. I’ll be opening a new one every Wednesday. I’m a semi-hoarder and want to keep all of them until this is over, so I can compare the last one to the first one, just to see my progress. So I found a tupperware container that fits 10 of these things, and it will sit in my bathroom linen closet, ready when I need it.

Travel necessities
I’m going to have to carry a holder, and a toothbrush with me now. If I want to eat or drink while I’m not at home, I have to take my trays out, put them in the container and store them. Then go brush my teeth and put the trays back in when I’m done. OK. Walmart once again. In the school supplies aisle there are pencil holders for kids. Perfect. Combine that with a folding travel toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, travel size floss, and I’m set.

2016-09-28-10-37-56
The Invisalign Gear.

So I’ve got the gear thing handled now. Every new project or hobby has its own accessory requirment. Invisalign is no different.

My Invisalign Journey – 1. Shock and Regret

Previous articles in the series: My Invisalign Journey – Prologue

So I’ve decided to go ahead with this, spend the money, deal with the orthodontist appointments, the pain that will flash me back to high school, the weirdness of wearing a clear plastic retainer all the time. I made the appointment for “computerized molds”.

New technology! No plastic molds with nasty rubber choking me, they use a digital camera to scan all of my teeth. That sounds easier than it is, but it’s still better than those molds.

The digital photos of my teeth are sent off to the nerds at Invisalign who come up with the step by step process of making my smile gorgeous, and then make the trays that will push and pull the teeth into alignment.  I make the follow up appointment to get my trays in two weeks’ time.

The day is here! I get my trays! Woohoo!!!

First the tech has to put “buttons” on my teeth in some places. These are little grippers that will allow the tray to grab onto a tooth and move it more easily. OK, they’re enamel colored, so when my trays are out they won’t be that noticeable.

Then the tech puts the first tray in, showing me how to make sure it’s all seated properly and stuff. Then she has me try to remove it. Um, that wasn’t all that easy. Then she has me put it back in. Oh, that was harder than it looked. Take it off again? OK. Yeah, this is kind of a pain in the ass. And these bumps on my teeth? They hurt the inside of my lips, just like braces do. They feel weird.

I’m not going to feel my normal teeth AT ALL for the duration of this process. I was not expecting that. Oh, and the “first batch” of aligners is 32, so 32 weeks and then reimaging to see how much more. This process is AT LEAST a year long. One tray per week.

The tech assures me I’ll get better at putting these things in. She assures me I’ll be able to tell at the one week point that the tray is “dead” and I’m ready for a new one. I doubt her, but play along, just to be agreeable.

Then she lowers the boom.

Nothing but water while the trays are in. And they’re in for 22 hours a day.

What? I knew I had to take them out to eat, but water only? RUFKM? I never DRINK water. I drink coffee and tea (cold and hot) and Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Coke all day long. I have a Sodastream that I’m trying to find acceptable syrups for since they changed the formulas. I drink beverages all day long. I have a HUGE collection of teas. My beverages are very important to me.

Also I’m a snacker. I really don’t eat an actual multi-course meal more than once a day, if that. I tend to eat one thing at a time, through the course of the day getting multiple types of food. Sure, it’s not all that healthy, but it works. OK, maybe forcing me to not snack and actually plan meals will be helpful.

But really…nothing but water while the trays are in. And they’re in for 22 hours a day.

I drive home with tray #1 in my mouth, feeling weird. Knowing I’ve just made a HUGE mistake.