Don fears his phone
Wednesday, June 22 2022
This morning the dentist called a little before 9:00am to give me a suggestion on what to do about my punk rock tooth, which has loosened up considerably in the last six months. He said he'd talked to his oral-surgeon friend and showed him the scan of my skull, and his suggestion was that the tooth be removed, a bone graft be initiated, and then, some months in the future, a dental implant would be performed in solidified bone tissue. Could have a fake tooth (for completely cosmetic purposes) in the meantime. "Where does the bone come from?" I asked. The dentist wasn't sure, but thought it might be bovine. I'd been picturing it being taken from my femur, but the process is completely different from that. The bone is ground up, fully-sterilized material from an animal (not vegan!) that is then infused with my blood platelets to make a pulpy material that is then packed into the thoroughly-scrubbed void in my skull. After a few months, it turns into new bone that is strong enough to accept an implant. "How much would this cost?" I asked nervously. "$2,500 for the whole thing," he said. "Hmm," I replied, "That's better than I expected." So I told him to sign me up. For the price of a ten year old Subaru, I can finally fix a problem I've had for nearly 28 years. (Though I may well have expressed a similar sentiment when ealier procedures were done on this tooth.)
During the morning scrum, our boss, the CTO, joined us. This is not something he does normally. He then announced that he had handed in his resignation from the company and would be leaving on July 1st. He then launched into a surprisingly frank (and F-bomb-punctuated) list of grievances and slights, most of them concerning a product he'd helped build that had gone on to make the company $20 million. Evidently he wasn't included in the option package extended to some employees in our corporate conglomerate prior to a recapitalization, an option package that netted me something like sixteen thousand dollars. And then he found himself at a meeting where employees that had been included were chuckling about it amongst each other. "Must be nice!" he'd said. That's the kind of guy he is, a little rough around the edges and speaking with a thick Boston accent. He looks like a shrunken old man, but, he told us today, he's 48. Six years younger than me! He said he'd accepted an offer at another job, so it sounds like he's landing on his feet.
My brother Don doesn't call me very often these days, but he did today. He did this because he was concerned from some disinformation he'd evidently seen in one of the many "movies" (as he calls them) that he watches on his phone. The disinformation was that cellphones signals cause bad things to happen to the people they pass through. I quickly told him that this was absurd, that the only thing cellphone signals can do to human tissue is to make it warmer. But the energy in these signals is so low that even this effect is tiny. "It's non-ionizing radiation," I explained. Don doesn't really understand what an ion is and how they are formed, and I didn't feel like taking the time to explain it all. So I stressed that what he'd heard was wrong. "But the woman in the video," he said (a weak form of the appeal-to-authority fallacy). "Don," I said, "anybody can make a video. That woman is wrong!" At some point I was tired of talking about this, so I said, "Look, Don, if you're worried about cellphone signals, don't use your phone so much."
Gretchen came home while I was in the bathtub and made us a delicious meal of some sort of Asian leaf vegetable from the garden sauteed with soy curls. We ate it during Jeopardy! and watched another episode of season 3 of Barry. Gretchen had heard from Powerful, who is still down at Westchester Medical Center. It seems he's contracted C. diff, a difficult-to-fight bacteria. As with most infections, he is more susceptible than we are because of the immune-suppressant drugs he has to take to avoid rejecting his implanted heart.
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