April 13, 2017: New Bikes, Meditation, Spring Birds and Amphibians, Teeth Cleaning
New bicycle longing (lust) was a topic of concern over the late winter and spring.
The desire was finally incompletely satisfied via purchase of a bicycle for the middle grandchild. Extensive research (exhaustive, in fact) on children’s bikes was done earlier (see January 26 post), but was completely disregarded in favor of purchasing “whatever bike they were selling that fit” at the local bike shop. Results have been so far acceptable, although a trip to the bike trail resulted in failure (too scary).
A new bike for Androp seemed, in the end, unreasonable, and the idea of buying on was scrubbed, because:
- There is no place to store an extra bike in the garage (the ‘tipping point’ issue)
- The current bike is fairly new
- New components, including a chain and highly puncture resistant tires, were added to the current bike last fall
- One human can ride only one bicycle at a time, normally
- Different purposes may call for different bikes, but Androp rides almost exclusively on the bike trail, for pleasure, fitness, and mental health
To elaborate on the mental health benefits of bicycle riding consider this: fairly often, when riding alone, Androp “wakes up” to find he does not know where he is, exactly, on a familiar bike path. Probably this is due to many parts of his brain having temporarily shut down while pedaling along. This represents the essence of meditation (see Dec. 22, 2016 post).
Spring is in full swing, with migrating and returning birds too numerous to list.
Two of the more striking species include the Prothonotary Warbler and Northern Parula (also a warbler), both heard but not seen on bike trail rides. Moderate flooding filled swamps along the big river and woodland ponds.
During an overcast, warm afternoon, four amphibian species where heard in a wooded swamp: American Toad, Western Chorus Frog, Bullfrog, and Southern Leopard Frog, the latter in abundance.
Finally, a teeth cleaning appointment was reluctantly kept. These are characterized by:
- Anxiety about pain that will be inflicted and endured. This slowly builds for about 4 days before the appointment, and becomes virtually incapacitating within 2 to 4 hours of the appointment.
- Pain being endured. Usually this is inflicted in unpredictable, sharp, excruciating waves across time (sweaty palms, chants to an internal voice: I am not here. I am not here. I am not here. I am not here).
- Relief when it is over, with internal admonitions, “I am never coming back here. This is stupid.”
The US Center for Disease Control, in their Oral Health section, mentions two things: (1) fluoridation (it is good), and (2) tooth sealant (also good). Nowhere do they mention teeth cleaning. All articles on this subject retrieved via a Google search were written by dentists. Readers of a certain age will recall the dentist from the movie, Little Shop of Horrors. Google that, and take a look at the YouTube clips.