Do it yourself dog plaque/tartar removal

Putting a dog under anesthesia just to clean their teeth has never sat well with me, thus, I’ve never taken my dog into the dentist for a teeth cleaning.  Ever since he was a puppy I would routinely stick my fingers in his mouth to get him used to me checking out his teeth, and it’s paid off on a few occasions.  Like today, when I decided to try and remove the plaque from his teeth myself.

For those of you who want to try this, (it’s worth a shot, because if it works you can save yourself a lot of money) here are some pointers:
  • Pin them down between your legs on the floor in area with plenty of light.
  • Keep the dog’s mouth open with a rawhide chew.  Wedge it behind their back teeth so they can’t close their mouth [on you].
  • Use a dental scaler, not a dental pick.  Dental picks are sharp and if you slip (you will, since you’re an amateur at this) you might stick your dog.
  • Removing the plaque requires a fair bit of force.  Start by focusing on one small area and scrape it in one direction until you start to scar the plaque and you can see if beginning to lift up.  Then apply pressure to the weakened spot and try and dislodge the chunk of plaque sideways.  I found the majority of my dog’s plaque spots dislodged in small chunks.
  • Apply pressure to the plaque in a direction that’s safe, so if/when the dental scaler slips it goes in a direction that won’t hurt your dog.  I always applied pressure on his upper teeth downwards, and his lower teeth upwards.
Good luck!

F9 001 success!

It was a huge day for everyone at SpaceX yesterday, we successfully launched our first Falcon 9 to orbit!

  • CNN: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches. Nominal shutdown and orbit was almost exactly 250 km… Telemetry showed essentially a bullseye: 126;0.2% on perigee and 126;1% on apogee.
  • SpaceX: Video highlights at
  • MSNBC: SpaceX fans and foes speak out. …fans were effusive in their praise, while others were in the “damn with faint praise” category
  • Economist: Feathering the Falcon’s Nest. The launch on June 4th of a Falcon 9 rocket… is a turning point in the development of private space flight. Though the industry’s coming of age is still some way in the future, this launch marks, if you like, its transition from childhood to adolescence.
  • Popular Mechanics: Minute-by-Minute Lessons From Falcon 9’s First Flight. [Recycling after an abort] was in fact one of the most impressive things about the launch, because almost any other vehicle would have had to detank after such an abort and cycle for at least 24 hours.

Verizon DSL tech support summary: it’s bad

I used to live in area serviced by Qwest.  I thought their tech support was bad, but I’ve come to appreciate them more, because their tech support people actually listen to what you’re saying.  With Verizon, you might as well be reading off their communication script yourself because anything not on that script is either rebuffed or just flatly ignored.

Me: “I’d like to report a DSL outage.”
Verizon: “OK, thank you for calling, I can help you with that.  What operating system is your computer?”
Me: “Um.. (Did she not hear me?)  Sorry, I would like to report a DSL outage.”
Verizon: “OK yes sir, I can definitely help you with that.  What operating system is your computer?”
Me: “I’m sorry, there must be something wrong with your connection.  Can you hear me?”
Verizon: “Yes, I can hear you fine.”
Me: “I would like to report a DSL outage.  Is this the repair department?”
Verizon: “Yes you’ve reach the Verizon DSL repair department.  I can certainly help you with your DSL outage problem.  Before we begin I need to know what operating system your computer is.”
Me: “Macintosh.”
Verizon: “OK, can you please hold?”
Four minutes later…
Verizon: “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with Macintosh.”
Me: “I don’t think you heard what I said earlier.  My DSL is out.  It is not a configuration problem.  It was working fine until 7AM this morning.  I made no configuration changes.  Nothing changed.  It is not my computer.  The DSL is out.  I just need to report to someone that it is out, and then I will hang up.”
Verizon: “Sorry, I can’t help you if you have a Macintosh.  Please hold and I will forward you to another department.”
Me: “PLEASE listen to what I’m saying.  The little DSL light on my DSL modem is OUT.  That means the problem is on your end.  It is not my computer.  Can you please file a repair ticket?”
Verizon: <type type type> “I’m sorry sir but no one else in your area has reported an outage.”
Me: “Can I be the first?”
This went on for about 15 minutes.  Finally I caved, told her I had a PC and let her walk me through the typical reboot modem crap that I already of course tried several times.
After about 45 minutes she told me that the modem was the problem and that I would need to be sent a new modem.  At this point I had had enough and politely hung up.  She called right back, insisting it was the modem, and I got pretty angry with her for wasting my time.
It hurts to be right.  This morning I woke up and the DSL light was back on and it’s all working fine again.  Nothing in the modem configuration ever changed…  I want that hour of my life back please.