Some things that fell out of my brain while I was sleeping last night:
My son was eating breakfast this morning when he suddenly let loose with a prodigious burst of gas from his lower region. His eyes opened wide, just for a moment, and then he then looked at me with all sincerity and said, “Doggy barking.”…

…I’ve noticed that I get a number of emails addressed to “Time.” Sometimes I don’t know how to answer the emails, so I have to go ask my friends Dough and Brain…

…A couple of years ago, I had an issue where one of my back fillings needed to be replaced. Apparently, I’m a high-pressure biter (my theory is that I just eat more than most people). Anyway, my then-insurance company paid their piece of the pie and I got the bill for the rest.

The bill seemed a bit high to me, so I called the dentist office and was informed that the insurance company only paid for the older, cheaper style silver (actually called amalgam) fillings, and that I had to pay the difference between the cheaper filling cost and the cost of white fillings. So, since I already have some old amalgam fillings in my back chompers, I asked if I could just have the cheaper fillings from now on. The answer was no, because my dentist doesn’t use amalgam fillings.

So, there is a disconnect here, somewhere. Is it that my dentist is different in that he doesn’t use amalgam fillings – even though the American Dental Association website says that they are more durable for back teeth (meaning that I have to get fewer fillings re-done, which perhaps reduces my dentist’s income)? In reading about this, I have also read that some people have concerns because the amalgam fillings have mercury in them – although the ADA insists that the combination of metals makes them safe. I can imagine dentists wanting to play it safe and go with the newer technology.

So, are the white fillings now the standard? Even if they are safe, I can’t imagine that anyone would want silver fillings if they had a cavity on their front teeth, for example. Is it just that the insurance company was cheap and lagging behind the new standard to keep their costs down? I can’t imagine that any conscientious insurance company would do such a thing (they are here for you, not for silly profits), so it can’t be that.

No matter whose fault it was, I had to pony up the difference in cost unless I wanted to skip out on my bill and change dentists every time a filling wears out. With the power and frequency of my chewing, I imagine that in time it may become tiresome to drive to New York for a cleaning…

…We almost made it through February without any significant snowfall. To say that I was excited about this is a significant understatement. After last year, when my dog escaped my back yard by simply walking over a pile of snow that rose above my fence, I feel like we deserved a break. In fact, when it snowed last week, it was actually fun to get out and move some of the snow around – but only because I knew it was a temporary thing.

I feel guilty about how giddy I am, though, because there are so many industries and people around that depend upon the white slop falling with some regularity. My hope is that they all banked enough last year to see them through the lack of snow this year. My old friend Rick O’Shea, who plows on the side, saved nothing (as a Yankee fan, he fully expects to win every year). As a result, he’s has had to change from Keystone to Natural Light and from $2 to $1 scratch tickets.

Hopefully next year we can have more of a happy medium – I don’t want to be shoveling every single weekend, and my dog doesn’t want to be leashed all winter. Last year was too depressing, and this year was too exciting (for me), so hopefully next year will go back to normal. But, if Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom decides to have another winter like this one – well, I won’t complain.