Until a few days ago. There wasn't as much of what I'd call pain in as much as a consistent throb for the better part of the day.
This brought back into focus a really strange bit of my anatomy: stubborn teeth. My baby teeth didn't fall out until much later than they should have - some of them still had roots and needed to be pulled to make way from the permanent ones that were blasting through the gum line.
However, things pretty much stopped there. The so-called "twelve-year molars" - molars which are supposed to appear at the age of twelve - never really came in. One of them is twisted towards the rest of my teeth, but none of that was a problem unless they start to move.
Six years later, they're finally starting to move, which means I'll be having the first surgery of my life on this upcoming Thursday. While I'm under, it's hoped that the oral surgeon will be able to go up in there and extract my wisdom teeth, which, as of my last panoramic X-ray, are still tooth buds. I was only half-joking when I told my dentist that, if left to their own devices, I'd get my wisdom teeth at around the age of forty.
As I mentioned, this is my first surgery, and it will be the first time I'll be knocked out by an anesthesiologist. I'm not scared of the process by any means - practically everyone goes through this rite of passage into adulthood, after all - but I'm kind of curious as to what the stuff will actually do to me. My family medical history when it comes to anesthesia is weird and hilarious.
My grandmother - whose favorite movie is Kill Bill and has a picture of the "brushie brushie brushie" bat framed in her guest bedroom - has undergone a couple of surgeries in her 73 years of life. When my dad was in high school, he witnessed her as she was waking up from anesthesia, singing a semi-lewd variation of "Do Your Ears Hang Low." Her sister was horrified, but that didn't keep her from laughing her head off (or bringing it up at family reunions, much to my grandmother's chagrin).
When it was time for my dad to get put under, they gave him a dose of anesthesia and then told him to count backwards from ten in order to see if he'd been knocked out. He did so without falling asleep. They doubled the dose and again he counted backwards from ten without any trouble. After a third dose, they told him to count back from 100 and he got to about 15 before finally passing out. He woke up about ten hours later.
With these stories on my paternal side, I can only hope I take after the maternal side and react to being under like a normal person.
AND THIS IS MY DAD:
AND THEN I REALIZED WHAT THEY COULD BE.
NAY, WHAT THEY WERE.
BY THE POWER OF MY LIMITED IMAGE MANIPULATION SKILLS COMES THE REBOOT OF GALIDOR:
SUMIKI'S DAD HOLDS COURT
NUKAYA'S BENNY PAINTING GOES FOR $2000 AT THE CHARITY AUCTION
BREADSTICK LUNCH? OBVIOUSLY
VENDOR RAIDING: THIRTY BALL JOINTS - MAYBE MORE
WAL-MART RAID FOR BATTERIES AND MIXELS: VALENDALE HATES IT, MY WASP IS NOW DERPING
BRICKEENS GETS FULL SKYPE TOUR
NOT ONE, BUT TWO TARAKAVA-RELATED VINES
MEIKO PRANKED WITH EMPTY NINJAGO BOX (SORRY)
KOPAKA NUVA SMELLS GOOD
BEAN CORE BRICKS ARE BEAN CORE
TAKUMA "M-DIZZLE" NUVA DROPS SOME SICK RHYMES
THE GREAT DULLES PARKING LOT ROAD TRIP (FEAT. TAKUMA NUVA AND AVOHKAH TAMER)
MY FEET HURT
"Try it on for size! Or grab a lovely Peruvian hat and dance on a tomato!"
"You can take time to poison some wayward pigeons or millipedes while you read."
We left the New Jersey hotel before noon and almost immediately got turned around due to the fact that there were two possible routes out of New Jersey towards Valley Forge. We ended up paying a toll and crossing over into Pennsylvania - and, like New Jersey, Pennsylvania has no welcome sign.
The roads to Valley Forge were long and tedious. Somewhere along the line we ran into a section that was just plain awful - the four lanes of the road literally slanted into each other, so much so that, if there had been two eighteen-wheelers in the middle two lanes, the inwards slant of the road would have made the tops of their trailers collide. We did not see very many trucks on this particular stretch, which was practically the only good thing one could say about it, as it featured every highway atrocity from lane-wide potholes to lanes that were cut off for road construction completely without warning.
Yet we were as determined as ever to get to Valley Forge, and get to Valley Forge we did, but not after seeing two of the most bizarre road signs on the continent within a half-hour of each other: "Beware of Aggressive Drivers" and "No Shoulder Next 1540 Feet."
The visitor center (and film) at Valley Forge didn't include any historical information we didn't already know, but it felt good to walk around and stretch our legs for a bit. But with the temperature outside at over 90 degrees, most of our walking was confined to air-conditioned establishments.
We took the driving tour around Valley Forge, which, again, wasn't much - nothing original of the encampment remains and attempts at determining the precise location of various huts and bases is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, the driving tour took us through some gorgeous countryside, passing ornate monuments to the generals who wintered there and faithful reconstructions of the log cabins the various regiments built for winter quarters.
After Valley Forge, we got onto US 202, which was atrocious. The stop-and-go traffic in the right lane - awful on brakes even in the best of conditions - was augmented by traffic going well over the speed limit in the left - and in a work zone, no less! The good news was that we didn't have to spend but two miles on this road before reaching our exit onto US 30, upon which we made good time.
We rolled through small town after small town, looking for something to eat ... and literally everything was on the other side of the road - an impossibility, even when a middle lane was available, due to the veritable horde of drivers coming in the opposite direction.
Eventually - finally - we see a Chick-Fil-A on that side of the road. With rumbling stomachs and no guarantee that there'd be any palatable food options for miles ahead, we got three chicken sandwiches and soon were continuing on our merry way - but not before we got a report from my mom, who said that the women's restroom contained, in addition to its hand-sensing squirt-contraptions that produce soap and hand sanitizer upon appropriate requests, a third hand-sensing squirt-contraption that produced mouthwash.
I see this as one of those things that would likely work only in theory.
We crossed over the wide Susquehanna River, saw a number of diners, and crossed through a number of traffic circles, which have been the bane of our existence on this particular trip.
We took US 30 to the outskirts of Gettysburg, where we took US 15 down to Maryland. We spent less than an hour in Maryland before we crossed into Virginia, which is where things really got hilarious, for my dad spun a tale of Colonel Nit-Wit, played by himself, and Major Half-Wit, played by myself, as well as a cavalcade of stars, including:
• Corporal Gilbert, whose lips were attached to his earlobe
• Miss Left Foot, who didn't have a right foot
• Sergeant Stumpy, who didn't have a left foot (although his right foot was later removed and put onto Miss Left Foot, and Stumpy ended up attached to the back of Corporal Gilbert)
• Sergeant Hamster, who looks like a hamster
• Lieutenant Claude, a possum in disguise
The interactions and voices of these characters had us in stitches from the state line all the way through to our eventual stop, to the point that my dad had a little bit of trouble snapping out of the aristocratic southern accent that he used to portray Colonel Nit-Wit.
We stopped in Leesburg at a hotel that didn't have any rooms, but, as according to one of the patrons, who came from a room while we were walking out, also didn't have hot water. With enough light to get farther down the road, we did so, and ended up pulling into Warrenton a short while later, procuring one of the last rooms at the hotel we're in now.
After we checked in, we needed something to eat, so we went down the road a little ways and pulled into the first thing that looked decent - an Applebee's. Like earlier, not our first choice for a road-trip meal, but it had to do.
It would have been quite pleasant had the not had the worse karaoke in world history been going on in one corner, including a Conway Twitty song.
I would have preferred listening to the original Conway Twitty.
I would have preferred listening to rap.
I would have preferring listening to the complete works of Anton von Webern.
I was under the impression that my dad was one of the worst singers until I experienced the horror of that karaoke. Compared to them, he sounds like an American Idol winner.
My mom wolfed down her salad, my dad consumed his steak, and I inhaled my interesting quesadilla burger, all in an attempt to get out of the pure and unavoidable torture that was being inflicted on both us and all of the other patrons, coming from other side of the building.
Thankfully, we escaped, unpacking and settling down in our room, my dad talking in his Colonel Nit-Wit voice to himself even while in the shower. (I know the folks in the other rooms can hear him when he does this, but after 26 days on the road, I've stopped caring.)
Tomorrow: we get back home.
We got up groggily. My dad got up to see if the service station had a part from Sydney. They did not, but we were cleared to drive around the greater Chéticamp area from the edge of Cape Breton Highlands National Park down to a little beyond the edge of Chéticamp. Our brakes sounded no different than they had previously on the trip. Without using the emergency brake, we were initially pretty confident that we could limp along back to the States ... but if we broke down on what remains of the Cabot Trail and back off Cape Breton Island, we don't have a towing option - even less so on the weekend.
All of Chéticamp's businesses and half of the houses are on one road - the Cabot Trail - that acts as its main street. Everyone knows everyone else, and while nearly everyone communicates in French as the default, everyone is also bilingual. English speakers are initially regarded with a slight air of contempt, but we endear ourselves to them with our attempts at trying to speak their language.
With the car cleared for local excursions, we drove south from Chéticamp and drove over onto Chéticamp Island, which parallels the town. We went as far as the pavement did before turning around, but we could see the entirety of Chéticamp.
We turned back and ate some massive sandwiches at All Aboard Restaurant, sampling the local custom of putting vinegar on their fries (which made my dad's eyes cross because he put a little too much vinegar on a tiny fry). We split their strawberry shortcake and got some advice from the waitress, who told us of a lighthouse on the other side of Chéticamp Island. While she said that it was a dirt road, she also said that it was in good condition.
My parents took a nap in the room, waking up around 4:00 or so and ready for the lighthouse. We took the same road over to Chéticamp Island and turned onto the dirt road.
At first, the road wasn't bad. It wasn't great, but one could see well-wore tracks with less gravel. But as we passed over a small cattle crossing, the road conditions worsened considerably. Potholes filled up with muddy water, huge rocks shook the car back and forth, and gravel made up the rest of the slanted road - all not but a few feet higher than the water that was a little too close for comfort.
We had to turn back, but not before going up and then back down a hill - which wasn't fun for anyone involved.
You have no idea how much of a relief pavement feels after that.
With a newfound awareness that the Chéticamp folks' idea of a dirt road differs significantly from our idea of a dirt road, we doubled back towards the town, stopping for some supplies at a small convenience store/music shop, a local institution. The man who ran it had heard of us, saying "so you're the folks with the black car ..."
We're becoming famous in Chéticamp.
We purchased some more water, a can opener so my dad can get into the Coca-Cola bottles he got yesterday, and a cream soda, purchased on the advice of the tow truck driver, who remarked that the blueberry soda tasted like "blueberries mixed with cream soda." I'm drinking it now, and it tastes like liquid cookie dough. It's delicious.
This also marked the first time in my life that I've seen bagged milk. I'd heard stories about Canadians purchasing their milk in bags, and it's just as ridiculously impractical in person. I cannot for the life of me understand how bagged milk is of any advantage to the consumer.
Back on the road up Chéticamp, we stopped at the church, which we'd heard had a gorgeous interior but kept weird times. The steeple is visible throughout the area, and the inside didn't disappoint.
It looked much more like a church interior from a large and affluent city, not the Acadian Mayberry of Chéticamp. Gold leaf was everywhere and everything was extraordinarily intricate. We walked around, then went up to the balcony to see a bird's-eye view of the stunning chapel and to look at the organ, which appears to still use a hand-cranked bellows system. Lifelike statues of saints look down from alcoves, massive murals adorn available spaces, and everything just feels so vast and grand.
After ogling sufficiently at this architectural marvel - built stone-by-stone in the 1890s - we went back through Chéticamp and through to the other side, back into Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We stopped right before the great big mountain that was the site of the beginning of our problems. We went down to the ocean and dipped our hands into the waves. I was surprised at how warm this portion of the north Atlantic is, as I'd always envisioned it as cold almost year-round.
We hiked up the short but steep trail to the overlook at the top of a large rock, but we couldn't see too much from the top - especially compared to the vistas we could see on the Skyline trail yesterday.
We headed back to the car and double-backed into town, stopping at Hometown Restaurant, where we had our 4:00, post-Skyline lunch yesterday. We ate light, with individual salads (their Caesar is one of the best I've ever had - croutons that aren't bread-rocks and just the right amount of garlic), a lobster dip, and a slice of turtle cheesecake. All three are worth a third trip on their own.
(My dad and I ordered tea, since they had decent sweet tea before. Unfortunately, we're used to iced tea being the default, and so we were rather shocked when our waitress brought out steaming pitchers. We rectified this, but it was quite the faux pas on our part.)
We ended up talking to the owner/chef a while about various things. My dad's still trying to rope me into playing the piano at one of these restaurants - there are a surprising number of them here! - to help pay for our time in Chéticamp (although, amazingly, our Cape Breton experience will come out significantly under budget). We also learned that the reason the fellow earlier knew about our car is because one of the folks at the repair shop is quite the gossip and tells stories about folks who had come through to most anyone who will listen.
At the conclusion of this light supper, we got a second dessert just a little ways down the street at a place called Mr. Chicken, which has - according to the Hometown owner/chef - the best ice cream in Canada. Coming from a woman who has been all across Canada, we decided to give it a whirl.
My dad had a milkshake, but my mom and I got the maple walnut. Though we got the smallest size - a "baby bite," as they were called - they were easily a half-pint each. When they said "baby bite," I thought they meant a bite for a baby, not one the size of a baby.
With the days' adventures concluded, we headed back to our room.
The brakes didn't act up. We probably could make it at least as far as Antigonish, perhaps all the way home. But it's a long rural drive from here in Chéticamp all the way to the Prince Edward Island ferry, and tow trucks don't operate on the weekends. Though the thought that we could make it is still there, we know it's best not to push our luck.
If the part doesn't get here by Monday, though, we're going to get out of Chéticamp. As nice as this little place is, we still have a schedule to keep.
Tomorrow: another day on the town in Chéticamp.
We explored our Mount Washington hotel thoroughly. We saw the Gold Room, where the setting up of and signing of the International Monetary Fund took place, and a few old fuses - well, I thought they were old. It turns out that the fuses, part of the original wiring put in by Thomas Edison, were actually still partially in use.
Honestly it sounds like a fire hazard, but I'm not an electrician.
We decided to skip the treacherous Mount Washington Auto Road due to the fact that it's a private road that doesn't have guardrails, and doing so in a car that has well over 100,000 miles on it and has just come off of its fifth road-trip repair in three years is just kind of asking for trouble, especially when the road is notorious for burning out transmissions and brakes.
It was just as well, since that was well out of our route.
We worked our way through sleepy towns in rural New Hampshire as we wormed our way back down amidst the towering granite faces of the mountains. As we kept on the route to Portland - towards the stadium of the Portland Sea Dogs (or, as my dad called them, the "Portland Dog Drips") - the towns increased in size and had signs that designated earlier and earlier dates of incorporation.
The roads leveled out as we neared the Maine border, but we could still look back and see mountains - some still with traces of snow near their peaks.
Conway was one of the towns we passed through, and its quirks included a motel with different "themes" for each room like storefronts in the Old West as well as bizarrely funny shop names.
Around 12:30 we entered Maine, and got some literature at the welcome center from a guy who was born in North Carolina but moved to Maine when he was young. He'd long since lost any southern accent he might have once had, replacing it with a thick northeastern accent that turned "Bar Harbor" into "Bah Hahbah" and "Bangor" into "Bangah." I didn't hear anything close to that in Boston, where I thought I would.
The potholes got really bad as soon as we crossed the Maine border. Only a few were absolutely unavoidable - the fault lines - but these were eased over as best we could. We slalomed through the rest, only hitting one - which was pretty good considering that there were as many potholes in one mile as there are living humans on Earth.
It didn't slow us down considerably, so we stopped by the Sea Dogs and got our customary pennant, then set off for the Portland Head Light. Before doing so, we ate pizza at a local place called Otto's, which converts old gas stations into "filling stations" - for your stomach.
The crust was flaky and buttery - one of the few crusts I actually liked. Onions, sausage, and marinara sauce gave it a little bit of kick. It was a filling and delicious late lunch.
We then got to the Portland Head Light, which was absolutely gorgeous.
The Head Light was built at the directive of George Washington and is now part of a municipal park complex encompassing both it and an abandoned fort. Rolling green grass saw much use from local citizens, but our main objective was to see the Head Light.
We saw so much more than that.
The Head Light itself was interesting - especially since it's still in use! - and the high-intensity fog signal that blasted out was close to deafening if you got too close to the lighthouse. We spent most of our time down on the rocks below, climbing and clamoring over the jagged rocks that claimed so many ships, even after the Head Light was fully operational.
Seaweed and assorted flotsam would get tossed up into the rocks. Most of it would just run off back to the ocean, but in a few places, it would pool up in large rocks. An algae that looked like grass flourished in these tiny ponds, anchoring themselves onto the rock bottom of their little world.
We were out on the rocks for the better part of an hour, enjoying the challenge of navigation, investigating interesting details in the rocks, and getting as far out on the rocks as was safe before heading back, taking care to avoid the slippery bits.
After this rather extensive exploration, we headed back to the car, over a curved drawbridge, and back onto I-295, which eventually merged quite unexpectedly with I-95.
Our destination was Bangor, just a short drive away from Bfahome. (He says that it's pronounced "B-F-A-Home," but I pronounced/sneezed it a little more as it's spelled.)
My dad and I met him at a bar & grill in Orono. By the end of the day, we wanted to keep him around to be our new GPS, found out that he owns every university from here to Kingston, Ontario, recited bits from old BIONICLE games and the asdfmovie series, discussed the fun and hats of BrickFair, and generally had a blast. 10/10, would Bfahome again.
Tomorrow: Acadia National Park.
He's the lord of all strangeness. - Ignika: Nerd of Life
How awesome is Sumiki on a scale of 1 to 10? - Waffles
42. - Black Six
[He's] the king of wierd, the prince of practicality, the duke of durr! - Daiker
Sumiki is magic. - Cholie
Sumiki says, "Do I creeeeeeep you out?" Yes, he does. - Waffles
Sumiki is a nub. He's cool, but he's still a nub. - Ran Yakumo
"What is a Sumiki?" You may ask. But the answer to that is still unknown, even to the Sumiki itself. - Daiker
LISTEN TO SUMIKI - Cholie
Sumiki is best snickerdoodle. - Takuma Nuva
BZPower = Sumiki + McSmeag + B6. And Hahli Husky. - Vorex
What's a Sumi? Does it taste good? - Janus
I would have thought Sumiki wanted to reincarnate as a farm animal. - Kraggh
EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH - Kakaru
Sumiki: the horse_ebooks of bzp - VampireBohrok
Everything relates to Sumiki. No really, everything. - Daiker
He's in worse mental condition than I thought. - Obsessionist
I'm just wondering why I'm looking at some cat dancing ... I suppose the answer would simply be "Sumiki." - Brickeens
I was like a beast, screaming through the mind of Sumiki at the speed of sound. I.. I wasn't strong enough to stop myself. What I saw was the end of infinity, through which one can see the beginning of time, and I will never be the same. - Portalfig
I imagine the 13th Doctor will be rather like Sumiki, at the rate we're going. - rahkshi guurahk
I was quite sure Sumiki had another set of arms stashed somewhere. - Bfahome
Note to future self: don’t try to predict Sumiki, he’s unpredictable. - Voltex
Let's be honest, I would totally have picked my main man Sumiki to lead my goose-stepping night killers anyway. We tight like that, yo. - Xaeraz
10/10, would Sumiki again. - Bfahome
Hat Enterprises CEO
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Premier: 9-October 06
FM: 20-February 12
FA: 29-August 12
Member No.: 45057
25th All-Time Poster
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Every week, I post a new "Tuesday Tablescrap", a small MOC not worthy of a topic, but something to post and inspire me to build more.
10/25/11 - Duplo Flower
11/1/11 - Slender Man and Masky
11/8/11 - Bizarre Black Spaceship
11/15/11 - 2001 Monolith
11/22/11 - My Little Slizer 50
11/29/11 - Punching Bag
12/6/11 - Thunder and Escorts
12/13/11 - Three Concepts
12/20/11 - Kaxium Alternate
12/27/11 - None (Christmas Break)
1/10/12 - None
1/17/12 - Volant
1/24/12 - Nidman's Chute Shoop Shop
1/31/12 - None (Brickshelf down)
2/7/12 - None
2/14/12 - Atomic Lime
2/21/12 - Spearhead
2/28/12 - Glatorian Kahi
3/6/12 - Seeker
3/13/12 - Skyscraper
3/20/12 - Microphone
3/27/12 - Toa Vultraz
4/3/12 - Flammenwerferjüngeres
4/10/12 - Umbrella
4/17/12 - Lime Beetle
4/24/12 - Special - Flame Sculpture
5/1/12 - None (BZPower down)
5/8/12 - Purple Ninja
5/15/12 - The Original Sumiki
5/22/12 - 7/24/12 - None
7/31/12 - Tahu
8/7/12 - None (BrickFair)
8/14/12 - Special - Chess Set
8/21/12 - Heavily Armored Wasp
8/28/12 - Spaceship Drill
9/4/12 - Scuba Vehicle
9/11/12 - Orange Guy
9/18/12 - Strange Flying Thing
9/25/12 - Goblet
10/2/12 - None
10/9/12 - Aim .............................. Down
10/16/12 - Gold Bot
10/23/12 - Teal Mech
10/30/12 - Special - Teal Mech (#2)
11/6/12 - Bits and Pieces
11/13/12 - Two Spaceships
11/20/12 - TARDIS Interior
11/27/12 - Christmas Creep
12/4/12 - Toaraga
12/11/12 - Fireplace
12/18/12 - Abstract Duckling
12/25/12 - None (Christmas)
1/1/13 - Black Bot
1/8/13 - 1/22/13 - None
1/29/13 - Handheld Rhotuka Launcher
2/5/13 - 8/6/13 - None
8/13/13 - The Hinklebot
8/20/13 - Special - Post-Apocalyptic Piyufi
8/27/13 - 8/5/14 - None
8/12/14 - Another Chro Original
8/19/14 - Kanohi Zatth
8/26/14 - Miniland Hatpile
9/2/14 - S. S. Starfish
9/9/14 - Special - Claude Hairgel
9/16/14 - Green Flame
Formerly known as the Bring Back Teal Club, the Unused Colors Society is a club that serves to promote colors that are little-used or discontinued, such as teal, old purple, or metallic blue.
Akuna Toa of Sonics
Popup2: The Camel
~System Of A Down~
Thunder on the Mountain
Toa of Vahi
WORT WORT WORT
Toa Kuhrii Avohkii
Toa Neya 2011 Edition
~prisma son of dawn~
.: WoLVeRINe :.
The Great Forgetter
Thomas the Tank Engine
Oh my miru
Element lord Of Milk.
Lexuk Toa Of Insanity
Michael J. Caboose
Lord Kaitan de Storms
Toa of Dancing
The Oncoming Storm
Toa of Pumpkin
Toa Zehvor Blackout
Lord of Ice
Zarayna: The Quiet Light
Vorex: Keeper of Time
Toa of Smooth Jazz
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If you learn one thing in life, learn this:
You should never, ever question why demons would possess a soda.
just a heads up - Cthulhu would probably eradicate mankind before bringing back Bionicle
so yeah, all I'm saying is, please think twice about this okay
nothing gets democracy flowing like erratic capitalizatION
[the NSA] couldn't say no when I offered them an ostrich farm in exchange
Sumiki -- nice try but we all know Toa Mata Nui stuffs its bra
have we mentioned hats
Shhh, I'm trying to focus on the negative to justify my dislike of history.
Also a long line of really great hats.
You have a great understanding of history, but don't forget, war, murder and other poor decisions are also huge characteristics.
To be fair, I am the one responsible for the invention of Mafia in the 1320s by seventeen bored italians locked in a mine shaft.
It's a long story.