Happy Day You CAKE!

Evan has heard the song “Happy Birthday” quite a few times this past week.  He not only got it as often as he wanted on his birthday (which was VERY often), but he also went to a birthday party.  You throw in that my father’s birthday party was not that long ago, and this is the result:



5 Worst Things I've Ever Heard at the Dentist's Office

I haven’t had a regular dentist since 2003.  That was when I left to serve as a missionary in South Korea.  Mostly, this was due to the fact that I was in school, and it is really hard to find a decent dentist out here in Provo.  It seems like there are about a million dentists in Provo all banking on the fact that some student will wander in and be willing to pay for whatever the dentist says needs to be done.  I am pretty sure I’ve gone through 4 dentists since 2003, each one doing a pretty horrible job.  I’ve decided to gather the worst things I’ve heard or experienced in the dentist’s office.

5. “Sometimes our estimates are off.”

I had gone to a dentist right after I returned home from my mission, and he did a lot of work on my teeth.  Two years without going to a dentist can kind of do that to you.  I told him to do any cavity, no matter how small it was, because I was about to go off of my parent’s insurance and wanted any problems to be nipped in the bud. I remember paying about $120 for  $700 worth of work.  About 1 year later, I get a call from a collection agency.  The dentist office had turned me over to a collection agency for $23.  It turns out the dentist had over-estimated what the insurance company would pay, and was coming after me for the $23.  Remember, this is $23 of a $700 bill that they DID get paid on.  What really made me angry was how nonchalant the office was about the whole thing.  They never tried to call me themselves.  They never sent me a letter saying I had a bill due.  I ended up paying, but not before going to their office and giving them a piece of my mind and letting them know I would never go to their office again.

4. “When we got busy just forget.”

This happened in 2003 right before I left on my mission.  I needed my wisdom teeth pulled, and some other minor dental work done.  As I was recovering, I noticed that my bite was WAY off.  I couldn’t even close my mouth all of the way.  Because the bite was way off I couldn’t really eat and I was getting a splitting headache.  I quickly made another appointment and it turned out that the dentist had over-filled my teeth that had cavities and forgotten to correct the bite.  I never went back to that office.

3. “See how much a juvenile patient can bleed?  Get me some more cotton.”

This one happened when I was about 12 or 13.  I’m not sure what the dentist poked me with because I was so numb, but I remember that he was training a new dental assistant.  She kept grabbing more and more of those little cotton rolls and stuffing them into my mouth.  To this day, I am forced to wonder if he did it on purpose just to show me how much a “juvenile patient can bleed.”

2. “Good thing he’s already numbed up.”

This was from the same office that didn’t said they were too busy to correct my bite.  I would just like to point out that just because you are numb and can’t feel the pain of the the dental tools hitting your gum does not mean that you can’t taste the blood.  Gross.  Really gross.

1. “Well, I hope that was the right tooth.”

This one was the most recent (I’m looking at you Cougar Dental).  I had gone in not knowing whether it was going to be a root canal or just a deep filling, and after the dentist started drilling he said this.  Fortunately, it WAS the right tooth.

6 Awesome Business Ideas

I don’t want you guys to think I’m all doom and gloom (well, not all the time).  When I’m not thinking about how the world is going to end, I sometimes think of awesome business ideas.  Most of them are restaurants.  I don’t know why that is.

6. Hunter-Gatherer

Get back here!

The Idea:

This restaurant would have a focus on high-quality local ingredients.  The restaurant would serve foods that are not only grown locally, but hopefully foods which grow naturally.  I would be willing to pay top dollar for local hunters to send a portion of their kill my way.  Imagine sitting down for a nice meal of elk, venison, or buffalo.  I would also hope to find a local expert on edible foods.  Wouldn’t you like to sip some nice warm rose and juniper tea?  Perhaps a bit of wild raspberry crumble on bread with some local honey?  It wouldn’t be for everybody, but I think this one has promise.

The Problem:

There is a reason that the vast majority of people buy stuff from grocery stores instead of foraging in the wilderness.  With such an emphasis on wild, local produce, it may be hard to keep up a steady supply to keep a restaurant going.

5. Fancy Malt Shop

The Idea:

We all know the basic premise of a 1950s malt shop:  You go there with “the gang” to get burgers and ice cream.  Hijinks ensue as a laugh track plays in the background.  This place takes the same basic idea and turns it up a notch (and takes away the laugh track).  You would be able to order kobe beef burgers for dinner and homemade hazelnut ice cream.  Where the focus of Hunter-Gatherer is on getting quality local ingredients, the focus here is on taking ordinary things and making them extraordinary through expert presentation and quality ingredients from around the world.

The Problem:

The biggest problem would be keeping the menu fresh and modern while adhering to the traditional idea of a malt shop.

4. Custom Burgers

The Idea:

With a million other burger joints out there, how does this one stand out?  Well, at Custom Burgers you get to build your burger from the ground up.  Don’t you ever get annoyed by the fact that burger places will charge you 50 cents to add cheese or bacon, but then they won’t credit you back that amount if you ask for the same thing removed?  Custom Burgers fixes that problem by letting people pick the bun, meat and toppings that go on their burger.  There would have to be a large variety of meats, cheeses and toppings to really make it worth it.  You want an ostrich burger on rye with kimchi?  Go for it!

The Problem:

Inventory!  With so many options, chances are that you will need a substantial inventory to make sure you have everything in stock at all times.

3. Surf and Turf

The Idea:

The general concept of the surf and turf is that you get the best of the surf and the best of turf.  I’m often surprised that this is rarely taken beyond the idea of lobster and steak served together.  Surf and Turf would have an international and regional focus.  In addition to the traditional steak and lobster, I would encourage a middle-America surf and turf with buffalo steak and trout.  How about a Japanese surf and turf with lobster tempura and teriyaki-marinated steak?  What about a Hawaiian surf and turf with braised pork and pan seared ahi tuna?

The Problem:

Finding a chef that is well versed in all of the world’s cuisines may be a bit of a challenge.

2. Ye Olde Grocer

The Idea:

I think that we have grown accustomed to wandering down the isles of the local mega-mart sorting through 500 types of cereal; sometimes less is more.  I would love to have a store that has the basics that are provided locally when possible.  Go to the store and pick up a jar of Mrs. Maple’s prized peaches.  Go and talk to the grocer. Get locally-produced treats and confections.  The focus here is community; I would like going to the store to be more of an experience.

The Problem:

People are accustomed to getting grapes at any time of the year and might not take too kindly to a grocery store that has a seasonal selection of groceries.

1. Hillery’s Chinchilleries

The Idea:

What is a “chinchillery”? A word I made up for a place where you raise chinchillas.   I’m not really sure why chinchillas exist.  Is it a rabbit?  A mouse? A hamster?  Wikipedia tells me that they are used for fur and kept as pets.  Common sense tells me they look like pikachu.  I want to mix their DNA with electric eels and sell them to overzealous Pokemon addicts.  If Jurassic Park scientists can mix dinosaur DNA with frog DNA, then chinchillas and electric eels should be a piece of cake.

The Problem:

None.  This is the best idea ever.

PS – I don’t often read web comics. But when I do, I read Basic Instructions.