Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: The Valley View Dental Consortium of Hudson, FL

My lowest rating: Avoid 

Are we supposed to address dentists as "Doctor" this or "Doctor" that. Probably not - they're just dentists. Anyway, my nightmare began when my previous dentist, an ex-marine who always treated me square, went out of business one day without notifying his patients and abruptly closed up his office. I was due for a cleaning so I called Valley View Dental. Oy vey!

To be honest, I've neglected my teeth most of my life and only for the last several years have I been taking care of them like I should have all along - brushing three times a day, flossing, rinsing with tartar control mouthwash. At 70, I can finally say "I'm on top of it."

No, these are not my teeth.

So, what I'm looking for from my dental consortium, unless I have an emergency of some kind, is a cleaning every 6 months, and a free toothbrush. Thank you very much. Cleaning my teeth isn't all that much work since my upkeep prevents much in the way of tartar buildup between visits. Candy, the girl at my previous dentist's office and Miranda at Valley View agreed on this. Unfortunately, dentist Wilson Maddoff of Valley View Dental wasn't happy with this arrangement. He decided it was necessary to improve my dental health - big time.

First, he decided the cleanings I was getting from Miranda were not sufficient. What I needed now was a deep cleaning. Cost? A slight difference, he said, but it would be well worth it. Later, his assistant informed me that the deep cleaning was going to cost me $1500. I went along with it.

Next, after that was all done he decided I needed some whitening. Really? You'll be amazed at the difference it makes, he said. Now, I've always been a realist when it came to my teeth. I do not have a Hollywood smile and my teeth, except for one souvenir of a long ago root canal which is brown, are hardly what you would call white. So, I went for it. $800. That's $2300 of dental improvement. I should have been feeling good but I didn't because, to tell you the truth, when I checked myself out in the mirror, my teeth looked exactly the same as they had when I was under the care of the ex-marine. Maybe, I thought, the benefits weren't readily visible. Yeah, that was probably it.

During my next visit, Miranda cleaned my teeth, told me how good everything looked, then took x-rays and called in Maddoff to check out my mouth. Things didn't look so good to him. Bone loss. Well, I'd been told about this before but my former dentist had been satisfied that it didn't seem to be getting any worse. Not so with Maddoff. I needed laser surgery, right away. $500. I left his office without enough for cab fare. Thank god I didn't need a cab.

By the next time I was due for a checkup, I was a little wary. Wilson Maddoff was into me for $2800 and my teeth didn't look any better. So, when Miranda finished with the x-rays and said she was going to fetch the dentist to have a look, I said, "Please, don't. Everytime he looks into my mouth it costs me money. I don't feel like another unneccessary treatment, today." Faithful to her employer, she reported what I had said and two days later I received a note in the mail advising me to find a new dentist. I don't believe my teeth were his primary concern - my money was.

I imagine if I told Wilson Maddoff that I only had 6 weeks to live, he'd try to talk me into some last minute dental treatments to make my dwindling time more enjoyable. No thanks.

There's a guy up in Spring Hill who offers free x-rays on the first visit for new patients. Next time, I think I'll try him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

After Losing Two Hundred Pounds, He Turns to Writing

"I figured that if I could lose 203 pounds, I could do anything. Back when I was heavy, I used to spend a lot of time plopped on my backside watching TV and reading. I often thought to myself that I could write a nice story but I just didn't have the energy. Not so with the new me. I decided to try my hand at writing and with the help of a friend, Joanne Augello, who kept me on course, I recently finished my first story, a novella entitled Flight from the Wild Side. The process was so much fun, I'm already working on another story."

So declared weight loss inspiration turned writer M. J. Toscano when I spoke to him at Joe Muggs in Port Richey, FL. "I love it here," he said. "I can read, drink coffee and chat with my friends in the friendliest of environments - a bookstore."

We, of course, wish him much success with his writing career. We read Flight from the Wild Side and think it's a great beginning. "Are you afraid that success might lead to increased eating and a weight gain?" we asked. "No, I'm not afraid at all," he responded, adding, "Please pass me another donut."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Art Collection - Desert by S. Mahaney, 1958

This 16 X 20 painting has been in my collection for several years. The photo, unfortunately, does not do it justice. I'm guessing, based on the subject, that S. Mahaney may have been painting in the southwest. Of course, he or she might have been working from a photograph, but the details in the cacti suggest to me first hand knowledge. If you have any information on the artist, I'd appreciate your comment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Flight from the Wild Side by M.J. Toscano and Joanne Augello

"There was a chill in the air but Trish was sweating, probably from the drugs that lingered in her system. A stranger to the neighborhoods on this side of the bridge, the so-called wild side of town, with its pawn shops, tattoo parlors and bars by the hundreds, she strode on past the hookers, drug dealers and drag queens, suddenly wishing she had parked a block or two closer. What was I thinking, she wondered, as she gathered her hoodie around her face and pushed on, not wanting to be noticed. Focus, girl! No time for second guessing. The worst is behind you—you’re free! The important thing now is to get out of town." ~ an excerpt from Flight from the Wild Side

I met Joanne Augello at Capone's Pool Room (officially known as Capone's Billiard Lounge). Her husband, Nick, just happens to be the legendary pool player Boston Blackie. She writes and I write a little, so, by and by, we decided to collaborate on a little project. Our Romance/Suspense novella is finished now and available on amazon for those who read Kindle ebooks. If you don't have a kindle reader you can still read it on your pc or phone or other device. Get your free app. Here's the blip:

Trish Markland is an ambitious young woman on the rise. Smart and beautiful, men adore her and women envy her. But her never-ending quest for pleasure, along with her reckless lifestyle, leaves her susceptible to a pair of ruthless predators who covet all that she has gained so easily and will do anything to strip her of it. With her charmed existence suddenly headed for a dismal end, and her life hanging in the balance, she decides it's time to reassess her needs and to decide what's really important. She starts a new life, and suddenly gets a taste of real happiness. But just as things start falling into place, her past catches up to her and she’s forced to face the fact that for her happiness may not be in the realm of possibilities.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

They’re Back, They’re Back – The Snowbirds Are Back

Roger and I, the management of the Hudson Highlands Mobile Home Park (A 55+ Community), would like to take this opportunity to welcome back all our friends from Canada, Michigan, New York State, Maine, Vermont, etc. It's great to have you all back, but we sincerely hope you didn't bring any of that cold weather with you, brrrr. LOL :)

We are looking forward to the coming winter and Roger thought, to get things off to a good start, we should go over some of our rules pertaining to pets.

First of all, dog owners, remember that when out doors your pet must be on a leash. There are no exceptions. If you are one of the 90% of residents who think that you and your darling pet are exceptions, then the rule applies especially to you because you are apparently so dumb you actually thing that that mutt of yours is somehow special.

Secondly, under no circumstances are you to allow your pet to do its business (pee or poo; whiz or crap; number one or number two; piss or shit) on another resident's lot. These people may not share your perverted obsession for dumb animals and therefore do not deserve to be gifted with your animal's waste products. Besides, your lot would make a perfectly good toilet. When you're away up north, Roger uses it all the time.

Rule number 3: Wherever or whenever your puppy drops his or her little nuggets, you are expected to pick the frigging things up. And this goes for you, too, nameless asshole who ties his dog to his tricycle and then rides around the park without stopping to give his animal the opportunity to assume a proper hunch-backed squat thereby forcing his beloved pet to drop turds here and there along his route where everybody else has to deal with them. Leaving them in the road is extremely inconsiderate to your fellow residents. STOP IT!


Pardon my French.

Rule number 5: This is a new rule made necessary by the fact that some of you dog owners are either too full of yourselves or, as I believe, don't have the sense you were born with. If you walk your dog down the street, you must yield to all traffic, whether it be gas powered, electric or propelled by pedals. Don't make it necessary for these vehicles to go around you thereby putting their drivers in jeopardy by placing them on the wrong side of the street where they could be subject to head-on collisions with those of your brethren who go whipping through stop signs and around corners because, once again, they don't think those signs apply to them.

Rule 6: If the little bastards chase cars or bicycles, don't dare complain when they get run over. You've been warned.

So, once again, welcome back and enjoy your stay.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Why Bright House's Bay News 9 Won't Tell You the News About AARP's Medicare Advantage Plan

My wife saw the report first on Bay News 9. It informed that AARP was dropping about a thousand doctors from one of its medicare plans. She told me about it and right away I said, "It must be their Medicare Advantage Plan." She said that's not what the report said. A short while later while I was watching the report aired again. As she said, Medicare Advantage was not mentioned. I then went to my PC and Googled "AARP Drops Doctors" and found a headline which read "Patients scramble after AARP Medicare Advantage plans drop providers." In short, it doesn't effect me. After being advised against such a plan by a doctor and previously seeing the part such a plan had played in the death of a friend of mine, I had sworn off Medicare Advantage plans. But, inadvisable or not, that doesn't stop Bright House from collecting revenue from several companies, each of which is selling their Medicare Advantage Plan through infomercials. Just yesterday afternoon, I noticed such infomercials airing on both NBC and FOX at the same time. I wouldn't watch them but I'm guessing they promote their products as a way to simplify your dealings with Medicare and not as a way for them to increase their profits. Do you really expect insurance companies to be honest?

Anyway, how can you possibly call yourself a news channel when you let your parent company's monetary concerns interfere with your reporting of the news? You can't. In addition, I went to the Bay News 9 website and couldn't find the story listed anywhere. What they won't do for their advertisers.