Pi 3 Sound – It’s The G-Damn HDMI Adapter

For a few years know I’ve not been able to get stereo sound (or any sound) out of my Raspberry Pi boards. From the Pi 2 to the newer Pi 3. About a year? ago got a clue it might be that the combo of an HDMI cable and DVI adapter might be the problem. More recently found that HDMI protocol has a secret handshake thing it must do or it just doesn’t work. I have no idea if my adapter does that right, but I do get video through it, so I guess so.

OK, I’d basically given up on using the Pi 3 as a media station and moved the Chromebox over to do that (it works great BTW). Then added a Roku to the TV so getting Kodi going is kind of way back burner for me, now.

Still, it nagged at me. Other folks seemed to get sound out of the Pi OK, why not me?

Well, today that “round toit” landed in my lap. I took down my computer set up, moved the Pi Dogbone Stack to the bedroom. Connected the HDMI cable to it instead of the Chromebox. Added a dropcord for power. Fought with networking for a while (move from wired to wireless, had to comment out eth0 to force the gateway wireless). Fired it up. Got the TV happy on aspect ratio. Posted some comments.

Then launched Youtube.

At first, didn’t hear anything and thought “Crap”… then noticed some soft sounds of Lady Gaga Edge Of Glory at the limit of my hearing. Grabbed the remote… Oh, so the signal out is ‘way soft’, got it. I presently have the Toshiba set to “62” on the volume and it is “OK” not loud. Normally I run it at 9 with occasional use of 12 to 14 on very soft TV. The occasional 20 ish on things that are abominably soft. But I have sound!


It isn’t about me configuring sound wrong. I didn’t need to do anything to make the sound part go other than plug in a real HDMI cable to a real HDMI TV.

The Pi 3 has a very low signal level on the output. I have no idea if that is configurable or just “live with it”. Don’t really care much, though.

While I could use the Pi 3 to drive the TV, I’m happier using the Chromebox. It’s already sunk cost so that it runs about the same as 6 Pi boards doesn’t matter. The sound out levels are fine already, and I can easily use my bluetooth headset with it. It’s small enough and has fewer connections needed (using an integrated bluetooth compact sized keyboard and trackpad…) and looks nice with the TV. Were I going to run a video system like Kodi to get loads of stuff without legal niceties, I’d look to the Pi, but I’m not doing that.

I need a new HDMI based monitor. The one I have is OK, but it’s about 15? 20? years old already. Originally the old PC video in, and the DVI was there but I never used it. That’s how old it is. For about $100 I can get a nice similar sized HDTV (720p or 720i) and be done with it; while getting TV at my desk too ;-) Solves the sound problem. Solves the TV in the office problem. Lets me move the old monitor onto an old computer instead of swapping cables. I’ll likely do that in a 1/2 a year or so, if it ever really reaches top of the issues pile.

And, the biggie, IF any one is having “sound problems” with a Pi, make sure you plug it into a real HDMI TV first to sort out that “it isn’t you” and it’s the monitor / cable / adapter…

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Netflix – Black Mirror

As you might guess, after dental surgery I’m “catching up” in my TV time… Not feeling a lot like running around; and doing so with pain suppression not such a good idea anyway…

I’ve added Vudu activation to my Roku. So far, only the free stuff. (select the channel in the Roku, give it an email address, it sends you an email with the link to send you to their site where you add a password, then you are good to go.) Now I’m in position to do a comparison of Netflix, Amazon, and Vudu. (Hulu wants money so I’m not signed up to it, yet. We’ll see if there’s a reasonably free / cheap way to evaluate it, too). In some future posting I’m thinking a comparison of the nature of those services might be a nice thing to do. But for now, I’m still mostly Netflix. Which brings us back to this posting.

I’m very impressed with Netflix. So far, nothing else even comes close. The big draw for me is that once you’ve paid your $10 (or whatever it is) you have it all. Vudu gives you a couple of free tasters, but then it’s like $9 to $40 per movie or series. Amazon is in between the two on behavioiurs. But what really has come to impress me is the “Netflix Originals”. I started off expecting them to be cheap trash to fill out the lineup. Like a lot of the 10,000 Roku “channels” that’re really not worth the time. In reality, the Netflix Originals are very good.

First it was House Of Cards. Binge watched the whole thing. It seems a ‘take off’ of the Clintons. Husband grubs his way to the presidency, wife is covetous of the power, expecting to be anointed next. Trail of sexual misdeeds and dead bodies behind them both. It does a decent job of portraying what the world of “for keeps” politics when played by sociopaths just might be like. A couple of more were similarly good. Latest is that I just finished watching Black Mirror. A Sci-Fi series that looks at the dark side of technology and how it could go wrong. Just the thing for a computer security guy who spent decades looking at the dark side of technology and how it does go wrong…

Here’s the “official Site”:


The Internet Movie Data Base has nearly nothing about it.


A television anthology series that shows the dark side of life and technology.
Creator: Charlie Brooker
Stars: Daniel Westwood, Hannah John-Kamen, Beatrice Robertson-Jones | See full cast & crew »

They have a set of reviews. My only “complaint” about it is that they seem compelled to sprinkle F-Bombs and “Shit” though the episodes. I don’t mind too much, but it means the spouse will never watch it with me. A very audience limiting thing and the F-Bomb long ago lost the “shock value” as a motif. Oh Well.

It is mostly set in the UK, near as I can tell. In the tradition of Twilight Zone, each episode is stand-alone. It isn’t a series so much as a collection of short stories. Each unique, and each raising interesting questions to ponder.

A few stories repeat the themes of “Social Media Gone Bad”, and cell phones feature prominently in many stores. No surprise, really, since the overall motif is “tech gone bad”. One story has people obsessing over being voted up or down. Everyone rating every encounter with others, on the spot, from their phone. Drop below a 2 you are a pariah and can’t get a job, over 4 you are awarded better jobs, houses, etc. Then things show their dark side…

Another has soldiers with a visual overlay built into their brain. It lets them see maps and share intel on the battle field. But, it turns out, the “Brass” is also using it to make the enemy look like alien horribles when they really are just genetically “undesirable” citizens…

Generally speaking, I found each episode compelling in one way or another.

Where The CW series (The Arrow, The Flash, iZombie, etc.) are fun bits of fluff and “bubble gum for the mind”, these Neflix shows are thinking pieces. I like both sets, both genres, but for very different reasons. (iZombie, especially, is just a cute trick on an old idea that actually makes if fresh, with zombies as “regular folks with a medical condition” as long as they get some brains for dinner. All nicely tongue firmly in cheek… I mean, funny sympathetic Zombies? For real!..)

But Black Mirror is intended to make you think about where we are headed, and even where we are, and be a bit uneasy about it.

The Wiki has more than IMDB:


Black Mirror is a British science fiction television anthology series created by Charlie Brooker and centred around dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone works, usually set in an alternative present or the near future. The show was first broadcast on the British Channel 4, in 2011. In September 2015, Netflix commissioned a third season of 12 episodes. The commissioned episodes were later divided into two seasons of six episodes; the third season was released on Netflix worldwide on 21 October 2016, with filming of the fourth underway in June 2017.

Regarding the programme’s content and structure, Brooker noted, “each episode has a different cast, a different setting, even a different reality. But they’re all about the way we live now – and the way we might be living in 10 minutes’ time if we’re clumsy.” The series has received critical acclaim and has seen an increase in interest internationally (particularly in the US) after being added to Netflix.

Several of the Netflix Original Series are from the UK or Australia. I suspect as I explore more of them I’ll find other countries in the mix too. Netflix is trying to expand to a global player, so that’s their future direction. For UK folks, they’ve already seen this show starting in 2011. For me, it was a new experience.

In particular note the phrase “critical acclaim” in that Wiki. That seems to be the thing that Netflix is bringing to the table. They don’t want just “me too” filler, they are picking things that are actually good to add to their lineup.

So having started off avoiding “Netflix Originals” as I had other things I wanted to watch, especially some familiar series and then catching up on some I’d missed and wanted to see (like Crossing Jordan where many Star Trek players found follow-on bit parts and that seems to be the conceptual model for Bones; but I’d been busy and missed most of it when first aired). I’ve now watched a few Originals and found that they are quite good. The stuff I’d like to see on TV, but the US Networks just won’t (or can’t) do. One, “3%“, is in Portuguese and set in Brazil. Captioning was fine and the story and players were well worth reading captions to watch. Eventually, Netflix will have enough “various languages” content they will need to sort them that way, but for now, some bits are Spanish or Portuguese or… Just the thing for folks wanting language practice too ;-) But most of it is English (of various dialects…)

That it all is 100% free of commercials is something that’s got me hooked, too. Even though The CW airs new episodes first, and I’ve got them on my Roku as a “channel”, I’ve gotten used to uninterrupted story lines. I’ve found I’m happy to wait until the “next season” shows up on Netflix and gain 1/3 of an hour for every hour of show… (roughly, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3… I’m increasingly intolerant of that time theft.)

It has been weeks since I used the Satellite Dish (DirecTV) for anything. It just seems so limited now, and everything packed with time costing commercials wall to wall… I’m now 100% comfortable with the idea of cord cutting. Might just do it early. I’ve got 9 months to go. With neither me, nor the spouse, actually watching it anymore, I need to do a “penalty vs keep” cost comparison and decide “Is it worth it”? I’d expected a harder time “letting go” and figured between Fox and HBO there would be something hard to replace. I was entirely wrong. Roku and Pluto TV cover more news from more places including several of my favorite alternative sources. Netflix has more series and movies than we can possibly get through. What else do we need or want?

So that was the case even before I’d watched a few Netflix Originals. At this point, I’ve done 3 series (I think…) and a few movies of theirs. Not one has been a tosser or disappointment. Some more my style than others, but production values are good, plot lines interesting, actors very good, and the variety makes the common broadcast TV look like high school drama class re-dos of old stories. (The only real exception to that condemnation being CBS who have managed to put together a decent set of shows with interesting characters and plots. Blue Bloods. NCIS (several). And Star Trek on their pay-to-play channel, that we’ll likely be buying soon just for that.)

I note in passing that Netflix subscribers are up, mostly on international growth, and their stock price popped on that news.

For anyone who hasn’t made the “leap” yet to internet TV, my recommendations are pretty simple:

1) Get a “dumb” TV. That way you can yank the “smarts” any time you like for privacy / security / anti-hacking purposes. A Roku does not have a camera nor a microphone in it, and you can’t crawl up the HDMI cable to activate anything in the TV (so far… that I know of…)

2) Put a Roku on it. You get tens of thousands of channels of “junk”, but also enough stuff that matters to make it worth way more than the $45 (to get the better one). Plus, you can unplug it when desiring higher security. You can get “local news” from all over the world (many USA local stations news too) so I can check the local news and weather in Orlando before flying out or in Chicago before visiting friends. RT, Al Jazeera, Sky, France 24, ABC, NBC, CBS, Reuters and about 2 dozen more including the conservative NewsMax and the ultra Progressive MSNBC. It also has Netflix, Vudu, Hulu, Amazon, CBS Pay, and a few other high end “aps” on it.

3) Sign up for Netflix.

At that point, with Roku and Neflix running, spend 6 months just sorting through all the stuff to watch. Not actually watching all of it, just realizing you have about 2 decades of stuff to watch, much of it quite good (mostly on Netflix). Realize, too, that it seems like a few years of new stuff shows up each year…

Then, and only then, think about what is lacking in your choices. So far, the only thing lacking for us has been new “must see” shows from CBS (especially for a hard core Trekkie with a new Star Trek coming out…)

Then What?

Beyond that? Well, I’ve not really gotten there yet. Still exploring. The simple truth is that the combo of a Roku and Netflix saturates my viewing time with things better than expected. I’m having trouble figuring out why I ought to spend 45 minutes figuring out what “Sci-Fi” channel on the Roku has neat old 1940s and 50s and even 60s movies I’d like to re-live (or fill in that I missed at the time) and / or why I ought to explore Hulu or Vudu; when I could spend that time on a really nice Netflix Original that’s already queue up in my watch queue…

Well, I’m going to “get there” in the next month or two. Just because curiosity and a need to optimize solutions drives me. The Spouse just launches Netflix and is done, almost all the time. (Some particular CBS shows are the rest). We, together, will be ‘binge watching’ the entire suit of Star Trek moves that are presently on Amazon, since we got it / them for free since she picked up Amazon Prime for the shipping cost savings. (Vudu wanted something like $45 each to ‘buy’ them. We don’t need to buy them, we need to watch them. Sure, they will expire on Amazon eventually. So?…) But who knows when we’ll have the 30 or 40 hours of time to watch them in one go ;-) I’m caught up in the Netflix Originals for the next few months and she is working her way through the entire history of Blue Bloods, the Star Trek TV Series, and Crossing Jordan and a couple of others on Netflix.

It is really amazing just how much you can get and watch for “nearly nothing”. Compared to the time cost of endless commercials, well, it’s a “no brainer”. I think the lifetime for broadcast TV and “commercials on internet TV” is getting shorter. I’m still willing to put up with some, on things like Reuters, but I can already feel the tolerance shrinking. Even though it’s only a 30 second spot every once in a while. Forget the 3 minutes solid on regular TV. Much larger percentages of my “Tube Time” (or is it “panel time” now? ;-) is preferentially going to the solid viewing block sources. Netflix is leading that parade…

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The Surprising Cost of Dental Implants, and the “Upselling” Chain

Some 4 or so years ago I finally had my last two wisdom teeth removed. The lower two were impacted (crowns facing forward, not up) and I’d been told since I was 18 “When they bother you, have them removed.” Well, they never bothered me enough. Just try to come in a bit more, then stop. Once every year or two. Eventually, on of them started to have decay. Out they came.

Well, about a year ago, seems the tooth that one of the wisdom teeth had been pressing against had gotten some kind of defect in the enamel on the backside where nobody noticed (or the process of removal and nobody noticed) and decay had proceeded “back to front” under a nice crown (put in some many many years ago). OK, it was basically slicing the top off of the roots, so “not repairable”.

Silver Nitrate & Fluoride

As a new procedure had been approved by the California Dental Weenies In Charge Of Gate Keeping, that of applying Silver Nitrate to decay in non-repairable places, my Dentist and I decided to see if it would do any good. I thought that was almost a year ago, but the time stamp on the article is 17 months ago… I think I need to check with my dentist just how much life extension the treatment gave and how much after the article my tooth was treated.

The result of 2 applications of silver nitrate solution and a fluoride varnish seems to have been about a 3 month extension on expected tooth life. Nice for scheduling, not so good for cure… Perhaps a more frequent, quarterly?, schedule would help more in such severe cases. But at least we learned something. Silver Nitrate as a treatment for minor surface defects might well work longer term, for an already significant decay process, not so much. But it does slow things.

Information gained, we now reached the “time to go” point for the tooth. It was starting to show signs of forming an abscess on the root / tooth body interface as the decay reached the pulp and headed down the roots. One interesting sidebar: It didn’t hurt. Perhaps a side effect of the silver. Perhaps the nerve was just shot early and insensate. Whatever. Everyone kept commenting on “You sure that doesn’t hurt?” in a slightly incredulous tone.

It’s the lower left rear molar. #18.

So my dentist doesn’t “do” extractions anymore. He just likes doing repairs. I’m given a referral to have the tooth pulled. That’s it.

The Doctor Of Dental Surgery & Upselling

So I go to my referral appointment to have the tooth pulled. I’m seen by a nurse / dental tech / don’t really know. Nice cute gal in a blue surgical suit. I’m in the chair, and we are talking. After about 10 minutes, I figure out I’m being sold an “implant”. “Did your Dentist talk to you about implants? No? Oh, well, here’s why you want one” kind of stuff. Maybe 20 minutes in, I’ve been told that to properly figure out where the nerve is in the jaw so that I can still taste food and not have a rubber lip the rest of my live, they would really really like to do a “CAT scan”. (Nice little head only sized unit that looks at your teeth.)

Well, I’m all for that, even after being told insurance doesn’t cover it for “just an extraction”, which is all I really need… But I go for it anyway.

KA CHING! $250 out of pocket.

Back in the chair some time later, the continued sell on an implant proceeds. Oh, look at that (on the CAT scan), Dr. Foo will be able to tell if we can do the implant NOW or have to just do a bone graft now and later do the implant. Along the way, I mention that we’ve talked about everything possible other than “What is the Cost?”

More hemming an hawing about well you know everyone is different and it depends on this and that and the other thing and I’ve decided to push it.

“I’m not going to hold you to it, but I need some idea of if we are talking $50, $500 or $5000.” After more beating around the bush, I figure it’s about $2500, all up, if they can do the implant then, and insurance covers the extraction. Maybe.

Dear Dr. Foo comes in, looks at the X-ray / CAT Scan and says need to do a bone graft first, for the implant to work and not hit the nerve. (Never stated, but I suspect, a simple extraction and waiting a year would have the bone recovered more than enough, given how the bone looks where my wisdom teeth had been…) But, what the heck, I just want the damn thing gone and us to “get on with it”, so I suggest we just do the extraction and bone graft, as they suggested, and I get on my way.

Well…. Turns out “Oh, not today, today is just a ‘Consultation’ visit”… meaning today was the Sales Job Day. OK… Would have been nice to know that FIRST, so I’d not brought the spouse along as Designated Driver… BUT, someone else had cancelled, so I got scheduled for the next day…

THEN, and ONLY THEN, I was taken to the quote room and given the papers with the actual estimates for all this.

Frankly, I was very tempted to just cancel the whole thing right there just based on my fundamental rules of:

1) NEVER accept an “upsell”
2) Unless you know the cost FIRST, never set an appointment
3) Negative Surprises mean “Walk away, just walk away”

But this Dear Dr. had been referred by my family dentist who we’ve used for about 30 years+ now and is GREAT. And maybe he ought to have told me this was going to be a sales appointment with selling me an implant… not just a “yank and go”.

Besides, I really needed the tooth dealt with. I’d cancelled one appointment prior to the one with my dentist where “time to go” and been pronounced, and I was pretty sure it was time to go then. Starting over with a new referral and likely the same process was just not interesting. In a week, I’m booked somewhere and it would NOT be a good time for medical procedures. Sigh. OK, let’s just get this step done.

The Steps

Seems that a “dental implant” consists of several steps, NOT explained to you up front, but metered out piecemeal. Maybe they figure you won’t notice the Salami Technique on your wallet…

The first step was that CAT scan I’d already done – $250 and dental insurance doesn’t cover it.

The second step is the extraction, covered by insurance. Now you might think $50 like it was 20 years ago, or even $75 as it is at regular dentists now. No, this is a “Surgical Extraction”. $345. But the insurance got that.

Next up, I see on my bill for that day, “Consultation Implant” $109. What? I got to PAY for being SOLD? One hopes the insurance covers that. Since they were rather pushy (forceful? demanding?) that payment was DUE SAME DAY, that they didn’t ask me to pay that says they called my insurance and it was covered.

After the extraction, to make the site more suited to an implant, they wanted to do a “bone graft”. Knowing my bones, I’m pretty sure they would fill in on their own in a year. But I figured, may as well get it done. That’s a key area of the jaw in terms of forces and I’d rather have it stronger sooner and without a hole to fill in.

So, on the day of the extraction and bone graft, I’m showing up bright and early. In hand, the “required before we start” payment in full. A bit shy of $1700. (Not including the $345 for the extraction billed to insurance). The bone graft itself runs about $1k (a bit over). That consists of packing some filler (like ground coral?) into the socket space after cleaning out any infection and / or stuff you don’t like. Then there is about $700 for the ‘closure’ and a “bio mat” with “serum growth factors” on it to promote healing / growth. This is via a blood draw and spinning out the cells, so your own “growth factors” are given back on a bit of gauze stuck on the surgical site. (I suspect some may be blended in with the aragonite filler too).

OK, so were up to a bit over $2000 and I’ve had my tooth pulled…

The Actual Implant Costs?…

Now you wait “4 to 6 months” (I’m likely to make it 8 to 12…) for the actual installation of the “implant”. Turns out this isn’t the whole implant. This is a peg on which the actual tooth is installed.

The quote for THAT, breaks down into 3 parts. A “Surgical Implant Body: Endosteal” (procedure) at about $2250, more “Bio Mat” at about $700, and the actual “implant components” at $200. That is, a little titanium peg with threads I think for $200.

Total? About $3000.

So now were up to about $5000, all up. (Really a couple of hundred over, but who’s picky about $Hundreds…)

But Wait, There’s More!

Talking to my dentist afterward, he points out that to build the tooth that actually goes on the peg is much more complicated than just any old cap, and guesses it will be about $1000. (He’s usually about right on his guesses and he doesn’t play games).

Now, note that the “implant” costs are not covered by my insurance. Some dental plans do, many do not.

All up,l we’re now at about $6000 before I actually get to chew anything on that ONE TOOTH.

Other sources?

Looking on line, I found LOTS of places doing the same hem ‘n haw about actual prices. Lots of song and dance, actual $$$ Price not so much. Prices at one site, for California, said this price was bottom quartile to middle of the pack. Some ran up to $25000 (what are they, solid gold?) but that looked to be for a denture that had many teeth stuck onto two implanted posts.

Here’s one such site:


CostHelper > Health & Personal Care > Dentistry & Orthodontics > Dental Implants
Dental Implants Cost
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?

average cost Single Dental Implant Average Cost: $2,488 high cost Abutment, Implant and Crown Average Cost: $4,263

A dental implant functions as an artificial root to anchor a replacement tooth or teeth. A small titanium post is surgically implanted in the jawbone, and as part of the healing process it bonds with the bone. A metal abutment is connected to the implant, and then a crown, bridge or denture is attached to the abutment. The work is typically done in stages, often with separate prices for the implant surgery, the abutment placement and the replacement tooth or teeth. There may also be a charge for a temporary “flipper” tooth while the jaw heals after surgery.

Typical costs:

A single implant typically costs $2,400-$3,000, but can be $4,000-$10,000 or more if additional procedures like extractions, bone grafts, tissue grafts or a sinus lift are needed. CostHelper readers report paying $1,000-$5,000 for an implant with an average cost of $2,488.

Placing an abutment and a dental crown on a single implant typically adds $500-$3,000 to the cost of just the implant, for a total of $1,500-$13,000 or more. CostHelper readers report paying $1,750-$8,270 for an implant, flipper tooth, abutment, crown and all needed procedures, with an average cost of $4,263.

Two to six implants topped with a partial or full-mouth dental bridge can cost $3,500-$30,000 or more, depending on the number of implants, bridge size and materials, and any other needed procedures. CostHelper readers report paying $4,000-$16,000 for a three- or four-tooth bridge on two implants, with an average price of $8,486.

Two to six implants with a removable denture plate can cost $3,500-$30,000 or more depending on the number and type of implants (mini-implants are less expensive), denture materials (in some cases an existing denture plate can be adapted for use with implants) and any other procedures needed. A full set (upper and lower) of implants and dentures can cost $7,000-$90,000 or more. CostHelper readers report paying $3,800-$27,858 for implants with a single denture plate, at an average cost of $14,226; and $6,549-$80,000 for a full set of implant-supported dentures (upper and lower), for an average expense of $34,119.

Dental insurance typically does not cover implants, because most insurance companies categorize implants as cosmetic procedures. However, some surgical costs might be covered by health insurance.

Gee, a range of $1000 to $90,000 listed. I guess that’s helpful… They do list it by how many teeth are involved, so maybe…


Has a couple of interesting comments:

Dental implant cost

Implants fees can range from as low as $1000 to as high $4000. It depends on a variety of factors that can affect the cost of an implant. Patients should choose the clinician that they feel comfortable with. Sometimes the cost can be secondary to a piece of mind. Implants are the best option in dentistry, outside of your natural teeth.

James Magee, DDS
Altamonte Springs Dentist

Well, I’ve been to Altamonte Springs. It is just north of Orlando. I’m going to be there about the time my jaw has finished healing. $1k to $4k sounds a lot better than $4k + to go.

At this point, I’m pretty sure some “shopping around” can save me a couple of $K on the “drill a hole and stick a screw in it”… and likely the “put a tooth on top of that” too.

The same article raises the point of “Tourism Dentistry”. I’m OK with that, too. Heck, I’d be FINE with spending $2k on a vacation and the next $2k on the tooth at the end of it… Note this posting was put up in 2012, last contact was “5 hours ago” and has 4.8 out of 5 “stars”.

June 6th, 2012
Implants in Mexico

Dear patient,MEXICO does not produce any dental materials or implants, everything its imported from germany,USA,switzerland, the implants are FDA approved, probably you might check some dental vacations,based on what you say,you request several of them.there are several options you will find,for implants and prosthetic restorations,each case its different, and we can give you a more specific answers,and diagnosis.

Learn more: http://dentalimplantsmexico.org/affordable-dental-implants/

German Arzate, DDS

Mexico Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
01800 565 1424
22 yrs experience 1 offer

Last contacted 5 hours ago

OK, I’ve got 1/2 a year to do some more shopping. I’ve got a very well prepared install site that just needs time to finish bone growth / filling in. I’ve got a $4000 price tag in front of me and it doesn’t look that hard to beat. Makes a fella go Hmmmm….

So I’m finding the idea of “Dental Tourism” very very attractive at the moment. I do need to find out if my insurance covers out of country ( I think it covers the $1k actual crown that goes on the peg.) I also need to decide if I really care enough to finish this process. I’ve, maybe, got 10 more years. I figure about 15 tops. That beats my parents by a lot, and it comes up to about what my Grandad was when he died. He worked his whole life on a farm eating “natural organic food” as that was what it all was then ;-) I’m not in anywhere near his shape.

Just what are the real benefits of a decade of that one tooth, really? Is it worth another $4k? I’m not really seeing it… I’d figure at about the $2k point, I’d likely be interested. $1k for sure… Then $1k and 2 weeks on the beach in Mexico… well, he DID say pain killers as needed ;-)

In Conclusion

So I posted this just so folks could have some idea what the steps and costs are in getting a single tooth implant in California. Hopefully it will help other folks to avoid having a “yank the tooth” turn out to be a $109 “Consultation” sales opportunity by surprise…

Do I think this Dental Surgeon was unethical? Not really. Just using common “practice building” and sales tactics. He did a great job on the extraction and bone graft. It’s “day two” and my jaw feels fine. Nerves are fine so taste is fine ;-) Needed minor pain killers yesterday, post op, but really could have skipped them. Less pain than a cap, in some ways.

HOWEVER: I do think ALL the sites I visited looking at “San Jose Dental Implant Cost” indicated the same process and that the entire Implant Industry is playing a “hide the cost and up sell” game. That isn’t really “Customer Friendly”. I also think my dentist could have taken a minute to say “Here’s a referral for the extraction. The first meeting is just a ‘consultation’ and they will talk to you about getting an implant. If you just want it pulled, tell them to skip that step and just pull it. Oh, and implants run from about $2k to $8k for one tooth.” Then again, he knows I’m pretty bright and generally research things, so maybe he just figured I didn’t need the prep talk….

With that, I’m open to suggestions on good places to get a peg in my jaw and a tooth put on it… Or places with $4k of Scotch at the bar instead ;-)

Or $4k yielding 5% would give me $200 / year or about one cheap bottle of whiskey a month forever…
I think I could forget about one tooth for that …

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Posted in Biology Biochem, Human Interest | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Surprisingly Good Technical Series on Climate

I’ve run into a surprisingly good, if fairly deep technically, series on how the climate works. I’m not going to do any real analysis nor even much reporting about them here. It’s just too much to cover. I do, however, recommend that folks download and read these puppies. They have a lot of clue in them.

It started from a pointer to an article at Judith Curry’s site on holocene climate variability. Note the “III” in the following link.


Nature Unbound III: Holocene climate variability (Part A)
Posted on April 30, 2017 | 335 Comments

by Javier

First in a two part series on Holocene climate variability.

Note that the top link is to “part-A”, here’s the link to “part-B” of that Holocene set.

The III implies a I and a II, somewhere; which Javier nicely points to as PDF files.

I really ought to find out more of the bio on “Javier”, but for now I’m just impressed at the care and depth of thought. Well done Javier!

In many of his articles, there are ideas I’d noted and figured “someday” I needed to go into depth and work out the details. He’s already done it, and likely a bit better than I would (or could) have done.

Further down in comments, there’s a statement that earlier (sort of precursor) articles are available as PDF downloads. I downloaded them and read them. Really really good stuff.


Javier | April 30, 2017 at 3:42 pm |

For convenience, the previous two articles of the series have been made available for download as pdf documents:

The PDF download process for those part 1 & 2 papers is a bit circuitous. A link to a Sabercat where you can pay, or get a membership, or something, for fast download or click a button to get a download page after waiting. Then you get to play with a captcha that gives you ambiguous pictures. Then you get to have a readable not downloaded copy presented and must discover a ‘popout’ button in the upper right. THEN you can find the bit were you can download and save the pdf. At least, I think that was all the steps… I have more direct links here:

The Series, In Order

Nature unbound 1

Nature Unbound I – The Glacial Cycle.
Javier. October 2016


Milankovitch Theory on the effects of Earth’s orbital variations on insolation remains the most popular explanation for the glacial cycle since the early 1970’s. According to its defenders, the main determinant of a glacial period termination is high 65° N summer insolation, and a 100 kyr cycle in eccentricity induces a non-linear response that determines the pacing of interglacials. Based on this theory some authors propose that the current interglacial is going to be a very long one due to a favorable evolution of 65° N summer insolation. Available evidence, however, supports that the pacing of interglacials is determined by obliquity, that the 100 kyr spacing of interglacials is not real, and that the orbital configuration and thermal evolution of the Holocene does not significantly depart from the average interglacial of the past 800,000 years, so there is no orbital support for a long Holocene.

Nature unbound 2

Nature Unbound II – The Dansgaard-Oeschger Cycle.
Javier. January 2017


(D-O) events are the most dramatic and frequent abrupt climate change events in the geological record. They are usually explained as the result of an Atlantic Ocean salt oscillation paced by internal variability. Available evidence however supports that they are the result of an externally paced oceanic-sea ice interaction in the Norwegian Sea. A lunisolar tidal cycle provides an unsupported yet explanatory hypothesis for the 1470 yr pacing and triggering mechanism of D-O oscillations.

Then read the two Holocene ones:


Nature Unbound III: Holocene climate variability (Part A)
Posted on April 30, 2017 | 335 Comments

by Javier

First in a two part series on Holocene climate variability.

Summary: Holocene climate is characterized by two initial millennia of fast warming followed by four millennia of higher temperatures and humidity, and a progressively accelerating cooling and drying for the past six millennia. These changes are driven by variations in the obliquity of the Earth’s axis. The four millennia of warmer temperatures are called the Holocene Climatic Optimum which was 1-2°C warmer than the Little Ice Age. This climatic optimum was when global glaciers reached their minimum extent. The Mid-Holocene Transition, caused by orbital variations, brought a change in climatic mode, from solar to oceanic dominated forcing. This transition displaced the climatic equator, ended the African Humid Period and increased El Niño activity.


Nature Unbound III – Holocene climate variability (Part B)
Posted on May 28, 2017 | 317 Comments

by Javier

The Neoglacial has been a period of progressive cooling, increasing aridity, and advancing glaciers, culminating in the Little Ice Age. The main Holocene climatic cycle of ~ 2400 years delimits periods of more stable climatic conditions which were identified over a century ago. The stable periods are punctuated by abrupt changes.

There are likely more similar papers at Judith Curry’s site, but I’ve not had time to search them all out, yet. Clearly it’s a great place to go digging.

All in all, a very clear headed look at “Just the facts” finds conclusions that are very similar to several I found (not claiming I was first, just that I reached the same place) and in some cases (many?) has more depth and detail. In all cases has far more references and academic precision.


No sooner up than I found “Part IV”… Haven’t read it yet, but know it will be good…


Nature Unbound IV – The 2400-year Bray cycle. Part A
Posted on July 11, 2017 | 121 Comments

By Javier

The existence of a ~ 2400-year climate cycle, discovered in 1968 by Roger Bray, is supported by abundant evidence from vegetation changes, glacier re-advances, atmospheric changes reflected in alterations in wind patterns, oceanic temperature and salinity changes, drift ice abundance, and changes in precipitation and temperature. This is established with proxy records from many parts of the world.


Nature Unbound IV – The 2400-year Bray cycle. Part B
Posted on July 16, 2017 | 15 Comments

by Javier

In Part A, we established the existence of a ~ 2400-year climate cycle, discovered in 1968 by Roger Bray. This climate cycle correlates in period and phase with a ~ 2400-year cycle in the production of cosmogenic isotopes, that corresponds with clusters of solar grand minima at times of abrupt cooling and climate deterioration. The relationship between solar activity and cosmogenic isotope production during the past centuries confirms the ~ 2400-year solar cycle as the origin of the climate cycle.

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Posted in AGW Science and Background | Tagged , | 23 Comments

Mid-July, after the 4th, looking for fun… what to do… Ski Squaw!

Well, here it is, the middle of July. Well past the 4th of July. In some, particularly cold and snowy years, Squaw Valley manages to hang on to July 4th with maybe one run, just for the news value I think. Well, that’s a week+ in the rear view mirror. So what to do now? Isn’t it the hottest year ever and with everyone by now forgetting what snow is? Think of the poor children, never seeing snow…

So this might be your last chance for them to ever see it again… Time to Ski Squaw!

From: http://squawalpine.com/skiing-riding/weather-conditions-webcams/lift-grooming-status

Click image to embiggen…

Squaw Valley Ski Resort open with 3 runs 2017 July 15

Squaw Valley Ski Resort open with 3 runs 2017 July 15

Only one? Something unique? Well… no. Down south we have Mammoth Mountain.


Summer Shredding

With over 600″ of snowfall this winter the 2016/2017 ski season is still going strong and we’ll be skiing and riding into August.

Well, with “Global Warming” like that, I’m going to need a new pair of skis, a better parka, and my ski pants updated… /sarc;

I can never ever remember skiing in August in California. It may well have happened some time, but I wasn’t around then. For the “hottest year ever” it sure has a lot of snow. One must also ask how that whole Hansen thing of filling in stations from those 1200 km away can possibly be right. July at Tahoe when it was hiking and camping a few years back MUST have been warmer than Tahoe with snow on the ground. Now GHCN no longer has a California station there, it fills it in from the coast. But it MUST be overestimating the heat there now, compared to before. The Great Dying Of Thermometers preferentially pruned high altitude thermometers. Those interpolated values now must be wrong… Cooked books? You bet…

For those who might not have seen them, this is where I looked at how GHCN systematically lost high altitude thermometers:



Plus some others you can search for.

So, the big question going forward: Will it start snowing this year before all of the last year snow has melted? Hmmm? I suspect glacial growth is about to pick up.

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Posted in Global Warming General, NCDC - GHCN Issues | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Over on WUWT – Taurids and Asteroid Sized Bits

Over on WUWT, on a topic about low CO2 levels during ice ages, I mentioned my belief that a large impact into the ice sheet in Canada likely caused the Clovis Extinctions. In passing (i.e. after some arguing) mentioned I thought it was likely part of the Tarids, from a break-up of the proto-Encke.


The user named “Gabro” took offense at that… and my pointing at Cosmic Tusk as a source of useful bits.

I also pointed at this article and made the connection to Encke:

Well, down below that, Agimarc points to a very interesting new article about a new Taurid stream being found, and it has some asteroid sized bits in it. h/t agimarc.

July 5, 2017 at 8:01 pm Edit

Appears the Taurid Complex has yet another stream that we cross twice a year. Cheers –


That article says:

Meteor swarm spawns new and dangerous branch
Czech boffins say source of Tunguska event has new asteroid-sized bits to watch
By Richard Chirgwin 7 Jun 2017 at 06:29

The regular and often-unspectacular Taurid meteor shower has a dangerous side, with Czech boffins warning it’s a likely source of dangerous debris.

Working at the Czech Academy of Sciences, the authors of this paper at Astronomy and Astrophysics (here at arXiv) analysed 144 fireballs observed in the 2015 Taurid shower, and say there’s a previously undiscovered branch of the swarm that needs to be watched.

The Taurids have caused problems before. Most notably, it’s believed to be the source of the famous 1908 blast near the Stony Tunguska River, attributed to 150-metre meteor from the swarm exploding in the sky over Siberia.

The largest meteor stream in the inner solar system, the Taurids are the source of four meteor showers each year – all most probably a stream of fragments created when one or more large comets broke up around 30,000 years ago.

The branch of interest to the Czech scientists is the Southern Taurids, and the fireballs caught be European Fireball Network were spotted between October 25 and November 17 2015.

From those observations, the paper argues two conclusions: the new branch has a “well defined orbital structure”, but worryingly, the branch includes asteroid-sized structures in addition to the two already known.

During the 2015 shower, the paper states the brightest fireball “was caused by a body in excess of 1000 kg, which corresponds to diameter more than one meter”.

“Based on orbital similarity, we argue that
asteroids of several hundred meters in diameter are members of the Taurid new branch as well,” the researchers continue.

They also believe a Pacific Ocean fireball spotted by NASA’s JPL was also part of the branch – and it was a biggie at “ten times more massive”.

So to recap, about 25000 to 30000 years ago, a much larger proto-Encke entered the inner solar system and started breaking up. Since then, we’ve had several major known impacts, and a likely larger one causing a mass extinction focused on North America. The streams of debris have now divided into multiple sets ( 4? 5? ) and hit the Earth twice a year; and then, over a thosands year cycle, we move more central to the swarms, or more to the edge. In one set, it is known they hit with a ‘double tap’ about a 100 years apart. Throughout history, we have disasters on a thousands year period and with a double tap aspect over 100ish years. We know there are asteroid sized objects still in the stream.

We know we WILL enter the densest parts of those streams periodically and that we WILL be hit, potentially with extinction or local extirpation sized events. One well characterized collapse was in about 2200 BC. Or about 2 longer cycles ago. And it had the “double tap” structure. So the next opportunity is “about now”? (or up to 300 years from now… bit hard to say).

Oh, well then, by all means THE most important thing to discuss is who had lunch with anyone from Russia last year… ;sarc/ The Stupid, it burns…

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Posted in Earth Sciences, Science Bits | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

Election Over, Black Lives Matter Doesn’t Matter Anymore?

Just a minor “Negative Space” observation:

Now that the election is over and nobody is “pushing it” anymore, Black Lives Matter seems to have completely evaporated from the news.

Now isn’t it odd that something that was being pushed by the collective Yellow Stream Media with at least a story a week during the lead-up to the election and with organized mass marches in the streets (in conveniently important election districts) has simply gone silent?

Now it’s all Trump and Russia, Russia and Trump. What about Putin & Obama? What about Hillary & Russia? Oh, so “last year”…

Sigh. This morning I tried to do a “news cycle”. It’s Saturday. News Reporters are hung over from the party last night… All the “news” is stories recycled from earlier in the week. I swear, if World War III broke out on a Saturday morning we’d not hear about it until Monday afternoon… (once the hangover wore off…)

Status of Venezuela? Nothing in the “news”.

Oil price crashed, economic implications? Crickets.

Turkey having a 1 year Faux Revolution Purge historical review? Mentioned as a parade opportunity on some international news. Analysis of the purges (ongoing) what 100,000 Turks tossed off their jobs for political orientation or practicing free speech might mean for a NATO member? Nope, just 4 walled images of Trump shaking hands in France and even a count-down timer of how long he spent doing it with Macron… Any explanation of what the folks being purged might believe? Missing entirely…

The wiki has:

It has initiated forums for interfaith dialogue. It has substantial investments in media, finance, and for-profit health clinics. Despite its teachings that are considered conservative even in Turkey, some have praised the movement as a pacifist, modern-oriented version of Islam, and as an alternative to more extreme schools of Islam such as Salafism.

Oh, the horrors… /sarc;

So we are quite likely to end up with Turkey pushing to re-form the Ottoman Empire on a harder Islamic core, facing off against Russia trying to re-form the Russian Empire, with ISIS / ISIL / “whatever” trying to form a different Caliphate all three going at it (and against The House Of Saud & Emirate Friends), and us and the EU getting sucked in as NATO members (perhaps on more than one “side”) as Turkey turns back to a despotic non-democracy pushing a harder Islam and aborting western freedoms of thought, association, and speech… and the “news” is fixated on Donald Jr. actually talked to a Russian lawyer and said “Is that all you got?”… (I’ll believe something substantial was discussed when Hillary gets an arrest warrant issued… Until then, anything discussed was “milk and cookies” level.)

We’ve got China setting up a military base at the mouth of the Red Sea, putting a navy to sea to take control of shipping in Asia, and preparing to dominate from the Indian Ocean to Kamchatka; India likely to end up in combined navy and land battle when China is ready to start something, and the “news” is upset at how long Trump takes to say goodby to Macron? Really?

One gets more real news from the “Click Bait” on various random pages… or the Checkout Tabloids… (Did you know Beyoncé had twins named Sir & Rumi? Yeah, that gets more coverage than the death of Yet Another Clinton Adversary just before scheduled to testify…)

So after all that, I was thinking back to a year ago when the news was more, er, exciting. Riots. Cop killings. Then it hit me. The silence is deafening. With no election and no need to rile up Blacks with an election agenda, Black Lives Matter just doesn’t matter to the “news” or the Democrats… They’ve got 3 more years before Blacks matter to them again.

I suspect just doing a “compare and contrast” between leading headlines and stories of the quarter before the election vs now would be highly informative as to what was being pushed as propaganda efforts to gin up the vote by Democrats… Since the “media” are dominated by them, their hand is visible, even if as the negative space shadow. Since Republican points of view are blocked, they can work invisibly. Hmmm…

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Posted in News Related, Political Current Events | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments