Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fair wear and tear....

Had a faithful old tooth removed yesterday. It had served me well for almost 50 years. Needed a root canal jobby a few years back but apart from that it was doing great. My Portuguese dentist has told me I have great teeth and healthy gums... with one exception, the aforementioned LR5 (who I shall call "Mo"). Pure bad luck caused an infection to set in, post aforementioned root canal, which in itself was a great piece of work, but hey, sh1t happens and Mo had to be retired.
Plan `A` was to remove Mo and screw a Titanium implant into his place to take a ceramic in a few months but the X ray showed that Mo's foundation was no longer rock, but sand - a bone graft would be needed. But quick thinking dentist coolly announced that next to Mo there was a long-time gap where LR6 once lived and this will be ideal for the implant, so it was `job-on` after all. Can't remember how I lost LR6, but what with the space he'd long ago left behind suddenly coming in so unexpectedly handy, nay perfect for the tactical option (and me being a bit of an aviation enthusiast) I'm re-naming LR6 "A.10"! (I thought about "Spad", but this is the 21st century and after all we are talking Titanium).
So I'm all numbed up and the Op begins. A couple of taps, the insertion of a small explosive charge, a dull crunch and out comes Mo. The infected section of jawbone is cleaned, grafted and we move on to prep area A.10 for the titanium screw. A two, three and four mm drill bit do their thing - well not quite, as the 3mil seizes solid in the healthy, rock-solid bone, the drill suddenly stops and my dentist is flung sideways with the torque reaction.Another hi tech piece of specialist dentistry has to be deployed. I think I heard him call it an `Apertado Pequeno Bastardo`, which judging from the sound and feel of things through the numbness is probably Portuguese for, `Mole Grips` (probably titanium as well, although I swore I could smell WD40).
Space `A10` was completed in record time (about 8 tracks from the `Adele CD` playing in the background - just as well because I think he told me there were `21`).
I aimed some antiseptic fluid in the general direction of my mouth, rinsed out the bone and gore in an action resembling a lawn sprinkler, and then let my dentist give me a facial makeover with a sterile wipe. I sat up and looked at the lovely nurse who had, for the last 90 minutes, been kneeling on my chest forcing my mouth open with steel instruments pressed hard on the bits of my lips and mouth that still had working nerves. Trying to smile I said, "Ice pack please". She then slapped me across the un-anaesthetised part of my face and stormed out. I was bemused. The dentist ran after her and she returned a short while later full of apologies. It was a simple mis-undertanding caused by my anaesthetised tongue, what I said being encrypted by the novocaine and coming out as "Nice rack Miss" *.
I'm feeling a bit better this morning, despite the stitches in my gum, and looking forward to getting the full A.10 by the end of the year. Until then, you can call me `Gappy`, although you can't see it until I laugh real hard.

* Surely I must be joking by now? Of course.

Friday, 3 October 2014

"Eheu Fugaces, Postume Postume"

Met a bloke I hadn't seen for bloody years very recently. He'd got himself into a shedload of trouble and currently awaits a sentence. He didn't say anything to start with as he assumed I'd heard about his big mistake, which I hadn't, despite it making the press. I felt sorry for him, more so for his innocent family. He wasn't a child molester/sexual deviant, a thief or a breaker of bones. He'd let a chain of events get out of hand and had made a huge error of judgement that could cost him a loss of liberty by way of an exemplary punishment. I told him he'd be lucky if he got it suspended but his admission, clean sheet and conduct prior-to would be a sway in his favour. `The thing is`, I told him, ` we all make genuine mistakes and get things wrong through occasional bad judgement which, in itself, is caused by many factors but mainly inexperience. If we could go back in time to do things better, most of us would, so we shouldn't judge the less experienced soul we once were, based on the experience we have today`. I don't know if that helped.

It also got me thinking about people I've encountered throughout my working life, who I may have either misjudged, let down or disappointed in some way. If I got it wrong, I wasn't wrong deliberately. If I got it right but they didn't like the outcome, well, maybe I could have gone about it in a different way, but I couldn't see it because, at the time that was all I had. I have given evidence in court as a character witness for a defendant. I have also declined to give prosecution evidence when a former colleague was being prosecuted because it just seemed like a witch hunt. For me, it is all about the ethics and if he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt then they wouldn't need me to over-egg the pudding of justice. Sometimes the prosecution looks like its using a sledgehammer and to me that is distasteful.

I never turned away from doing something I believed needed doing. I could never ignore something bad because turning a `blind eye`, is to condone and if you are paid to get things done properly and don't, then you are a fraud and not earning your keep. I never set out to do harm. I'm sorry if I did, but my intentions were always to do what I believed was the right thing, however personally damaging it was for me to do so. By the same token, I don't bear any malice or ill will. It's done and forgotten. Life is way too short. So if you are out there and you see me, do say hello. The slate is clean.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Home Sec socks it to `em

 This image is a simple illustration of what we old farts called `reasonable suspicion`. It took years of training to detect it - some officers never managed it. Some, however, did manage to grasp the basics. Some I knew could even find their own arse with one hand (given a few clues). But in the late 20th and early 21st Century, due to the need for progress and enlightenment, `reasonable suspicion` was removed from the statute books and replaced yes, "alarm and distress" (and an investigation team of internet hackers).