Lately my writing has been limited to just thinking about titles.  In the last month, I’ve thought up a lot of great titles for stories, books, blog posts, etc., but I’ve not written much.  Not even the titles.

Writing and doing woodworking just haven’t been in the plan for a while.  It’s been an interesting summer for me so far.  The season changed and Heather and I were off to our wonderful European vacation.  After a short rest, two of our teenage grandsons came for a two-week visit which involved lots of activity.

Last Tuesday they went home and things started to become normal – except for the little  dental surgery I had on Thursday.  It was a “routine laser periodontal procedure”, but it took three hours and I was sent home with an impressive amount of two different kinds of painkillers, plus the two ice bags.  The post-op instructions were only six pages, so it’s working out fine.

For the record – my teeth hurt.  All of them, but on the good side I haven’t needed to take as many pills as I’d feared and there is hope that someday I’ll be able to eat solid food again.  Yesterday was a good day for food as I was able to eat an egg for breakfast.  Tomorrow I am looking forward to some nice cottage cheese for lunch. Well, it will be a change from yogurt.

Speaking of titles, I finally read Andy Weir’s book, The Martian, where we find a lone astronaut fighting for survival on Mars. It’s been on my list to read for most of the decade.  Interesting premise and as an engineer I found the story of astronaut Mark Watney to be believable and I was impressed with Weir’s research of the technologies involved.

One complication that was avoided in the book was, what if Watney had needed an emergency root canal?  In the opening scene Watney does stitch up a serious wound, but could he have done a dental procedure on himself?  Given the number of times I end up in the dentist’s office with some dental problem, I doubt I could survive on Mars much beyond my next cleaning appointment.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go into space and have an adventure in orbit.  What would it be like to be launched beyond all we know and so different from our daily experience of the world?  What would it be like to return from some exotic planet and return to this world?

With the river trip, kids, and surgery, I do feel a bit like I’ve been somewhere out there and am waiting for the final engine burn, the pull of gravity and

reentry …



About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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23 Responses to Reentry

  1. Didn’t Tom Hanks have dental problems in Castaway? But maybe a tropical island is a bit different than Mars. And remember, men are from Mars….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ouch! I hope your dental misery subsides soon. Sore teeth are just no fun. And I never trust any “routine” dental procedure – dentists have an entirely different definition of “routine” than the average human.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Judith says:

    I tried reading The Martian, and while it was interesting (and the research involved mind-boggling) I couldn’t wade through the complete book. I gave up half-way through and then went out and rented the movie. My husband and I enjoyed watching it together.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Don’t they go into quarantine after re entry? Enjoy the liquid diet.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. timsablog says:

    Good point about dental work. What you say about (theoretical) space exploration was equally true a hundred years ago (and more recently) for Antarctic exploration. When I was writing about Scott’s Discovery expedition I said “Before they departed all the crew and members of the expedition had dental check ups arranged by Scott – while they had two doctors they didn’t take a dentist with them. Even today dentists are in short supply in Antarctica – I remember hearing a retired dentist and aviator talking to us in the Narromine Aero Club some years ago. He had been on a tourist trip on a Russian boat to the Antarctic when they heard that one of the people at the Polar base was suffering from raging toothache. The call went up ‘is there a dentist on board’?’ He explained that he was a dentist but hadn’t practised for some time. He was told that they had all the equipment he would need at the Polar Base but no one who could use it. What did he want to do the job? So he was flown to the South Pole where he went into the dental surgery and found a pristine set of equipment. It took him longer to set up the equipment than it did to sort out the man’s toothache. He was then taken out onto the polar ice where he was able to practise some of his golf shots with a club he just happened to have with him.” Some years ago the late Jerri Nielsen, a doctor overwintering on the Amundsen-Scott Base diagnosed her breast cancer and with the aid of colleagues treated herself until she could be evacuated at the end of the winter.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. These are all experiences to be mined for your writing. No worries, Andrew.

    I had to have my first implant last year, with a jaw infection that cleared up nicely. That’s an experience I never want again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. jfwknifton says:

    There’s an old film called “Robinson Crusoe on Mars” which has the same kind of theme. All through the film I was thinking to myself “How would I do that, if it were me?” Alas, I’m too old now for astronaut training.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that movie. I remember watching it in the 70’s on late night TV reruns. And I agree – any training that involves more than walking around the block or interferes with my afternoon tea is out.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pied Type says:

    The movie The Martian has been on TV. That’s where I saw it. Good story.
    As for anything dentist related … I’m outta here. For reasons I’ve never been able to identify, I have a real dental phobia.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. dorannrule says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventures in the dental chair Andrew! Your sense of humor prevails even through that horrible earthly travail. Between river cruises, teenagers, and the DDS, I understand your wish to submerge somewhere to recuperate and pass the time inventing Titles! Come back soon to your blogger pals though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. CJ Hartwell says:

    Sorry to hear about your dental surgery. No fun!
    As to your thoughts while reading the book, I’m glad I’m not the only one who wonders about such things. I’ve not thought about the dental angle, but I don’t know how many times I’ve read thrillers where the people are racing back and forth and so on, and never once stopping to use the bathroom! I mean, my God, how do they do it?!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ray V. says:

    Ten years waiting to read a book? I hope it was worth the wait and as you get older, you might not want to wait so long, ya know what I mean?

    Liked by 2 people

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