Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I have a toothache. I think it's my wisdom teeth which yes, I still have, because in the UK they are normally left alone until they are problematic. Like, now for instance. But no problem, I have dental insurance. I've been paying it for the last year. So I'm covered, right? Wrong. Well, kinda. The problem is, I never registered with a dental practice (observant readers may notice a similarity with the post entitled 'an apple a day'. It seems I don't learn). I can find a practice that takes my insurance, but they won't deal with me until I'm on their roster which will take ... about a month. So I phone my insurance company who tell me there is a second practice in Gainesville that I can be registered with right away. Awesome! All my problems are solved! I call them up and ... they're not taking new patients with my insurance scheme. So I call back my insurance company to be told the only other option is a place in Ocala, about 40 minutes drive away. This would be difficult at the best of times, and somewhat more so when you consider I dropped my car off at the garage yesterday morning. For at least a week. Then, there is also the possibility that even when I see a dentist, my insurance may not cover wisdom teeth. It is dental insurance for some of your teeth. The ones we fancy maintaining. Is this my fault? Yes, I should have registered with a practice sooner. Does that make this soup and softened bread taste any better? No. No it does not.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Entrepreneur

I've heard everyone is blessed with at least one great idea. Today, I've found mine. I'm going to design a programme compiler that produces *&%*%#$ useful error messages. For instance where I previously had:

[submit:03494] *** Process received signal ***
[submit:03494] Signal: Segmentation fault (11)
[submit:03494] Signal code: Address not mapped (1)

There will be:

[submit:03494] *** Variable cannot be assigned value ***
[submit:03494] User did not define it as a pointer (11)
[submit:03494] User is a chimp (All)

This would have saved me acres of time, substantial hair loss and at only a small cost to pride.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Freedom is not free...

... blared the banner carried by the Korean Veterans in the Home-coming parade in Gainesville this year. They were joined by similar slogans from associated armed forces groups. Why, it made me proud to be an American! Oh wait... Senators in classic cars, prom queens in tiaras riding in horse drawn carriages, marching bands (my favourite part), the giant alligator mascots, Albert & Alberta followed by Smokey the bear warning us of wild fires, all went past, travelling in every mode of transport from huge workman's trucks to the Shands Medical Urgent Care Vans. Quite what would happen if there was an emergency is unknown, since all the firetrucks were also in the parade, trapped between the engineering school's Transformers float and a bus full of lawyers. Still, all the city were there so I guess they were in the right spot. The giant blood vans that litter campus rolled passed, still refusing to accept my (undoubtedly) mad-cow infected blood. A bright yellow school bus that I used to believe only existed on the Simpson trundled behind a bus load of possibly the silliest looking barbie dolls I've ever seen, who turned out to be the UF cheerleading squad. It was a great spectacle, huge fun to watch and totally cut off the town's north and south areas since you weren't allowed to cross the road for several miles. Woe betide the poor grannies who had nipped across the street for a pint of milk. They weren't going home for the rest of the day. So after watching the waving, cheering people and the dogs dressed in Gator shirts, I reach the edge of campus and walk across to the department, wondering what on earth the 'traditional mollies of Gainesville' are and why they have a float.