Sunday, January 30, 2011

Buying a car the Costco way

We have bought our last four cars through the Costco Auto Program. I must say it is a very slick program.

#1 Know exactly what car you want
and what you want in the car and
what you don't want.

Email or check the Costco website to see what dealer they want you to go to and to what sales manager they want you to contact. This is very specific. You can't just go to anyone anywhere.

#3 Go to the dealer and see what they have on the site in the car that you want.
The Dealer gets "the book" and your price is precisely $500 over what is on the book.

#4 Your price is what that number is minus what they will give you on a trade in.

No muss, no fuss, no haggle. Take it or leave it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

AzBuddy @ the movies

We saw a lot of movies in January.

Here are my one sentence movie reviews, in no particular order, but all seen in January.

The Way Back - Escapees from a Gulag in Siberia walk
4,000 miles to freedom in India. Good 3*** Minimal plot; man against nature.

A Dog Named Tulip - Animated - A stately elderly gentleman adopts a German shepherd dog and raises her
from puppy hood to motherhood. Very good 4****
Possibly the best animated canine porn flick.

Country Strong - Reminiscent of Bette Middler's "The Rose", a successful country singer tries to deal with fame and love. Good 3***. A good music flick.

The Fighter - Two brothers with a domineering mother try to make their way in the world of professional boxing.
Very good - 4**** for fight film fans.

Social Network - Story of a successful but weird asocial entrepreneur who invents the social network. Very good 4 **** limited interest audience.

The Black Swan - Good acting, directing and choreography and a dumb story. Good 3***
Probably liked by many.

The Kings Speech - A movie for everyone about a king who stammers and gets help from
a dedicated friend and speech therapist. 5***** Excellent and for everyone

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Mexican Dental Implant

My experience with
dental care in Mexico
started in Green Valley.
Although cost was a consideration,
more significant was their
recommending treatments that
I wasn't sure needed to be done.
They told my spouse that he needed costly and
frequent gum treatment.

We started with asking friends. There is no shortage of people in GV who go to Mexico for dental care.

We started with Dr. Gabriel Tardaguila, a periodontist
who was said to do an excellent cleaning and diagnosis.

His office is neat, clean and friendly with a receptionist that speaks English. Dr. G.T. said that with periodic cleaning by a periodontist that Ralph didn't need the extensive expensive treatments. Then Dr. Hilda, who is also in the office cleaned my teeth and found an severely deteriorated tooth. This had not been found in G.V.

From there I was sent upstairs to Dr. Sergio Suarez for an extraction. This proved to be a very difficult and painful procedure that required two appointments. Two of my retired dentist friends affirmed that tooth extraction in a tooth that has had a root canal is difficult.
After the extraction had healed it was back to Dr. G.T. to determine if and when I would have an implant.

The periodontist, the gum specialist, prepares the area and inserts the screw on which the implant will rest.

After this is done and healed, several months, it is back to the
general dentist for preparation and insertion of the "false" tooth.

I liked that these two dentists work closely together and Dr. S. could come down to Dr. T's office when I was there to consult with me about the various stages of treatment.

Total cost:
Extraction: $80
Preparation of gum tissue and insertion of screw including bone graft using my own bone $1,000
Making of impression and insertion of new tooth. $800.
Total = $1,980

I was very satisfied with my new dental implant and
the treatment I received.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Border Issues Fair

Santa Cruz Samaritans held their annual Border Issue Fair. This is a place that the community can come together and learn all that is being done to assist the undocumented immigrants that are compelled to cross into Arizona to find work.

Key note address by Dr. Bruce Parks discussed the role of Pima County Medical Examiner to examine and document those that die in the desert. Deaths peaked this past year spiking in the heat of July. Anthropologists and the Mexican Consulate work along side the medical examiner to identify these individuals and notify their families.

Numerous exhibits by the various groups that work to assist these economic refugees in their endeavor to find a better life. Quilts and artwork are made out of the clothing and articles found in the desert.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

As yet an unexplained tragedy IMO

Yesterdays catastrophe has yet to be explained.
I first met Gaby in 2006 during her first campaign for the US House of Representative.
Since them I met her on numerous occasions when she came to Green Valley to meet with her constituents. In 2006 I marched at her side in the White Elephant parade. She had a smile and greeting for all people, regardless of party affiliation. She was as non partisan as legislators come.

I have two thoughts on the tragedy.

#1. The US and particularly Arizona are too easy on gun control.
As noted in this chart we are WAY ahead of any other country in gun ownership per capita
The constitution that states we "have the right to bear arms" was written at a different time for a different purpose. IMO.
Arizona has passed a law that permits concealed weapons without a license. Guns are allowed in bars and other public places. Now some of our legislators wants to allow guns in schools. Rationale: Teachers and students can "protect
themselves". What about the student that
has a gun and has a "melt down" against faculty or other students?

My second thought:

We as a society need to take better care of the
mentally ill. That means early assessment and diagnosis and intervention. Most mental health problems are not covered by health insurance.
We don't know what motivated this young man to commit such a crime. We do know that some photos show him as a clean cut boy involved in the U. of Az. book fair.

Schizophrenia, a probable cause of insanity in other mas murders, typically occurs in late teens to early 20's, often in young men.
It appears that he demonstrated irrational and troublesome behavior before this incident.
But the school "kicked" him out. I thought that after
Virgina tech, school counselors would be better informed
at intervening in such circumstances. We need to be a society
that responds to and helps our mentally tortured young people.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Nuestras Raices Humanas-Mural

Translated means "Our Human Roots"

This magnificient mural by David Tineo was painted on an outside wall of the Tucson Museum of Art. I was fortunate to visit in 1992
while it was being painted. Now, 18 years later it is being taken down due to lack of funds for restoration and the danger of falling sections. Pieces of the mural will be cut up, signed and sold at auction for the benefit of the museum.

These photos were taken Dec. 26, 2010.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Water For Elephants - Book to Film

Water For Elephants was a New York Times best seller a number of years ago. It was read by many book groups as well as individuals. It is the story of a veterinarian in the 1930's whose parents had died. He rides the rails and ends up with the Greatest Show on Earth circus.

Many of us are looking forward to this film that is expected be released around April.
Reese Witherspoon plays the horseback rider who befriends the lonely vet played by Robert Patterson of Twilight vampire fame. The biggest star is Rosie the 9,000 pound elephant.

For a number of years I have facilitated a "books to film" discussion group.
One thing we strive to do is examine the book and film separately and not decide if one is "better than the other".

I am looking forward to this film adaptation of Sara Gruen's depression era novel.