Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

We had one of the best Christmas' ever. We sure missed our families and friends in the US, but enjoyed spending Christmas with our new friends as well as with many over Skype. (Anyone up for a game of "The Office DVD Trivial Pursuit" over Skype!!!?) Thank you for the many fun Christmas cards and presents. If you didn't send one we don't mind getting them late!

If you have 4 minutes to spare please enjoy my feeble attempt at amateur film making.

Merry Christmas !!!!!!!!!

btw... Sam sounds sad but is very happy about his presents, Max is partially faking his thanks due to threats regarding being ungrateful, and Gabe was a true Christmas devil! He was terrorizing the other boys and their presents. If you are wondering, Gabe wants GeoTrax Trains for his birthday! He wont leave Sam's alone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

We finally got a fair amount of snow. It was 7.25 inches before bed and when we awoke it was 11 inches. I don't think I've ever had to shovel that much. Yesterday we built a large snow man while the snow fall began and was later toppled by the accumulating overnight snow. And today we went sledding down the base's ski slope. Even Gabey went and was run down by a kid on an innertube. It was quite the scary topple. (Can I use topple twice in one paragraph?) But he was OK after. We plan on going back for family night's lit up with lights!

BTW This is what our home looks like +7.25 inches. HAPPY HOLIDAYS from MISAWA.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Read My Mind

Sorry I've been absent for so long. I don't know why, I think I got worn out by Em's daily blogging in November. Anyway I wanted to post this picture for a caption contest. We were having a Christmas Hot Chocolate Party for our Church Primary class of 9 beautiful girls and one boy all 5 years old. We also decorated gingerbread cookies. Here is Max with his. When I looked at this picture I immediately wondered what was going through his mind. What do you think? The winner will get a free piece of Sushi from 100 Yen Sushi!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Air Force Dentistry...What is it all about?

Many have asked about some of the Air Force stuff I do. Today is a great example of some of the extra duties I have. I had the afternoon block off from patient care to attend my CBRNE class [pronounced See-Bernie, kinda like Weekend at CBRNE (yes that was a poor acronym joke, the AF is all about acronyms and usually spoken as a word not as individual letters.)] CBRNE is the acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosives. First I had to spend about 2-3 hours doing a CBT (Computer Based Training) about CBRNE when we worked half day on Veterans Day, then we did hands on training today.

This consisted of learning how to put on our MOPP* gear. Donning this gear we went out and learned how to place and read chemical/biological agent detecting papers and identify UXOs (unexploded ordinance i.e. bombs, mortars, grenades). We did this with all of the MOPP gear on (which is MOPP level 4), it was the first time I've had to wear the gas mask. They even sprayed something in my face to see if my seal was good, luckily it was.

The best part was that it we got done pretty quick and I got home just before 1500. It is amazing sometimes how much resource is invested/wasted/utilized in lots of these trainings and exercises we do. There were a lot of other docs in there. (Mom don't read the next sentence). But we do live in a medium risk area, i.e. within 300km of a hostile country with capability and motive to employ CBRNE. Don't worry its overkill, but it is nice to be prepared.

So there you have it a day in the life of an Air Force Pediatric Dentist!

-I'll try to get a picture of me MOPP'd up sometime.

*MOPP (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) (acronym pronounced as "mop") is a militaryCBRN) strike: term used to describe protective gear, to be used in a toxic environment, i.e., during a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear.

  • Protective mask — Commonly referred to as a gas mask. It is designed to filter harmful chemical and biological agents, as well as irradiated particles from the air to allow the wearer to breathe safely. No protective masks filter out gasses such as carbon monoxide, and in situations requiring that level of protection, external breathing apparatus is employed.
  • Mask carrier — Protects the mask from damage. It is usually worn as part of battle gear for easy access and usually contains a technical manual, spare parts, and nerve agentantidotes.
  • Overgarments — Specially designed clothing to be worn over the normal uniform. These garments are designed to allow maximum airflow for cooling while keeping chemical and biological agents from reaching the skin of the wearer. Some are equipped with a charcoalM9 Detector Paper.
  • Gloves and overboots — Highly durable rubber, designed with combat operations in mind. Used to prevent contact with agents.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I wish Turkey only Cost a Nickle Oh I love turkey on Thanksgiving

Merry Thanksgiving one and all. Our Thanksgiving was wonderful and I hope yours will be too.

We had a big gathering with lots of friends from the ward. We all gathered at the High School Cafeteria, its nice knowing the HS principal. Now we are home and Em is asleep early on account of either having eaten too much or having finally contracted the family illness that has been going around for the past week. Historically for the past 7 Thanksgivings we've shared together she has been mildly ill for about 4, moderately ill for 1 and severely ill for 2. (I made the exact statistics up. 90% of statistics are made up 60% of the time anyway.) I think she mentally blocked out all sickness, except for her lingering sore throat, so that she could enjoy this glorious day of thanks she has been planning for a long time. Then once all was over she opened herself up to embrace the suppressed virus/bacterium (not sure which it was, we didn't obtain a culture).

Anyway, she is asleep, but before she drifted off she exercised some of her motherly inspiration and suggested I keep our eldest up late tonight. So we came downstairs and while Max made a bed out of the couch cushions, I found the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on UTube and we watched it together. Then we played UNO for about an hour. I think he is in Heaven. It was really fun. He has gotten good enough that it is a competitive match between us. Now he is on the floor behind me playing UNO against himself. It's really cute especially when he suddenly calls out "UNO!" at himself and has to draw two more cards.
So for what am I Thankful for this year?

Not Being a Student or a Resident ANYMORE!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Bean

Here is the picture I took that I liked a lot. It is a giant reflective bean in Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. Very cool.Oh...and the most delicious breakfasts...Eva! (It even rivals Pipes!)

Banana Bread and Cheesecake filled French Toast
Colorado Omelet and a gravy eggs Benedict

oh... and the cutest little niece Thanks Dubs!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Love Chicago

I am currently trying to trick my body to get back into GMT +9 hours time. Right now it is somewhere in between GMT + 9 hours and GMT -6 hours and +9 hours, which puts me somewhere in Europe I think. Hey maybe I should stay where I there. So if you haven't heard or figured it out by the title of the post, then you may be a little daft, I am currently in Chicago (actually in Buffalo Grove).

Why am I in Chi?

Well, it all started at 10 am on Thursday GMT +9 hours when I departed Misawa Airport to Haneda Airport (1 hr 20 min) and then transferred to Narita Airport via Airport bus, about an hour ride (both airports are in Tokyo). Then I flew for about 12 hours 15 minutes to Atalanta Airport, having watched one episode of the Office, half an episode of Pushing Daisies, The Incredible Hulk, Diminished Capacity, Journey to the Center of the Earth (having forgone Hancock and Indiana Jones and Momma Mia since Em wants to see those) and finishing Brisinger (my latest book, yes Cosmina it was about a Dragon!) and I took a nap for an unknown # of hours. At which point I went through customs and boarded a new flight to Chicago O'Hare. I then found myself riding in a taxi to my hotel. So I left my house at 9 am and arrived at about 7:30 pm, which is only a short 11.5 hours, until one adds on the 15 hours time zone difference and one sees that one has been traveling for 26.5 hours!!!

Why did I do all this?

So I could fight jet lag during a two day AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) Dental Trauma Symposium. (I did pretty well staying awake too, better than during residency.) It was a conference I had been dreaming to go to and was lucky to be approved by my Dental Squadron Commander to attend. The best part though was being able to hang out with my buddy Matt G. from residency. The conference was good. Most of it was a review of what I already knew but I did learn how to transplant a immature premolar to the position of a missing front tooth as well decoronate (cut off the crown of a tooth) in order to preserve bone height. (Feel free to go back and skip that last sentence or two.) Some cool techniques that I knew about but had no clue how to do. So now I need to wait for a kid to need some of these cool techniques and hope at the same time that my poor patients won't traumatize their teeth. What a paradox I live in!

I did get to make a trip to Costco, after which I realized why we have been able to save a lot more money now that there is no Costco/target/walmart nearby! It did feel nice to be there again! I love you Kirtland Signature!!! I got to eat a lot of yummy American (and Mexican food too while I was there. The best part of the trip was that I got to see Dave, my brother, and his family. Especially their cute little/huge daughter. She loves me know!!!!! They picked me up after my conference and after driving around such an awesome city, took me to a yum yum Mexican restaurant, That Little Mexican Cafe. They make fresh guacamole table side!! Nice!

So there you have it. It's almost 1 am GMT -6. Time to check Sports center and read a bit more and then take a power nap (still trying to trick my body). Whereupon we will patron the best breakfast place I've ever frequented, Wildberry and then its off to Tokyo. If you ever come to Chicago GO THERE!!! I'm overnighting in Tokyo and will try to find the Tokyo temple and also tour the imperial gardens. I'm doing a little reconnoitering for future trips to Tokyo.

Synopses: Chicago rocks, I love visiting this city. It has jsut an amazing feel being out on its streets. However, I think I'm over America. I don't think I miss it as much as I thought. You are great and all, but I can't wait to get back HOME!!! (It was wicked awesome to see my family and some friends though, can't take away from that.) I miss my kiddos and my gracious adorable Wifey.

P.S. There will be more blogs to come. I plan on writing a couple while I'm over the Pacific Ocean. Plus there is an awesome Chicago picture I need to download when I'm back to Misawa!

P.S.S. My sis-in-law has the coolest print of Chicago. It's from Ork Posters. It shows all the neighborhoods of Chicago.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How Did I Vote

Well, actually I unfortunately did not get to vote. Its harder than I thought to get an absentee ballot and to figure out where one's home state is. That aside, how would I have voted. By "how" I mean how would I have decided who was best to lead our country. I have been keeping current on my politics by watching SNL's presidential bash 2008. It's on right now on AFN, which is the military TV network. I haven't been too impressed with the Barack Obama, although I did enjoy the "Solid as Barack" song he sang during his infomercial. I mostly have been impressed with Sarah Palin, especially as she is trying to use a "Life Line" with her interview with Kattie Couric right now. LOL. I didn't really like the Biden impersonation either. So my vote for President goes to Tina Fay! She is so good/funny. I really like Hillary too. Don't tell anyone but I actually turned it from the real candidates on FOX news to the SNL candidates. Good switch if you ask me. I think I get the same info if not more accurate then what the real people are saying since you can't believe what any of them are saying!

Side note, on the way to the commissary today, Max asked me "who do you like dad Barack Obama or John McCain?" He said their names perfectly and we've never mentioned them to him. (I know Emily too said we should have been talking politics a bit more with him, but I think there are more important things to talk to him about like how to eat with a spoon!) Anyway he choose Obama at school. So I guess his school held elections today, I wonder if they will count for the real election!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy HaRRoween!!!

I've never seen so many Trick or Treater's! They came in a giant swarm consuming all the candy in their path! Max kept having to call for more candy. One feels compelled to continue putting more and more candy out for them. (Tip: Don't give away your six-year-old's candy from his previous Halloween Party while he is trick or treating! He wont be happy about it. Just ask Em.) In her weak defense they are cute little buggers and you can't help but want to give them candy when they say in very well practiced English "Trick or Treat. Tank you very much."

October 2008 (Click picture to enlarge for better detail)
When we lived in RI we were homesick for the coolest Halloween neighborhood, Belvedere St, in SF. They had every house totally decked out with awesome decorations. It was like a festival. October 2004
Now I'm homesick for RI and the perfect trick or treating neighborhood where our friends the Reddings live. They throw the best Halloween/Soup party this side, (or that side) of some body of water...!October 2007
Well, when we move to Carlsbad by the Sea, I guess we'll miss the million Japanese trick or treater hoards in Misawa!

The night began with a fun soup party of our own with some friends who will remain nameless. Then joined the throngs of kids around the neighborhood. Upon our return we partook of the most delicious homemade doughnuts!  (An Alton Brown recipe) Double Yum!! Then a bunch of other friends came over and partied further into the night. It was Great!

I hope you have as much fun on your Halloween as we just did, since its just beginning for those of you in the States!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rokkasho Salmon Festival

So, under pressure from Acte Gratuit I put together a little video together to explain the Salmon festival. There was just too much to explain where words could not do justice. But a few explanations are in order:

  • The town is called Rokkasho and was about 45 minutes away if you don't get lost.
  • The men running away with their fish before I even got my feet wet were rushing to the salmon race, where the first 5 caught salmon race down a race track and the winner gets to get another fish.
  • I'm the one in the black shirt spinning around not catching a fish
  • They are slippery and fast.
  • No one bothered to tell me you need gloves to actually hold on to them.
  • Thanks for the "encouragement" Em, but it wasn't helpful!
  • I didn't try to throw the fish at the little girl!

On Monday we had some of my collegues/friends from work come over to partake of the catch. We ran into them at the festival and they didn't do the actual catching part so we wanted them to come over. Plus, it was too much fish for us two to eat. It was very very good. It wasn't smelly during the filleting (go to for help on filleting!) I did a fine job filleting and readying the fish for grilling. It tastes twice as good as store bought Salmon. It was tricky to cook since the color is different on these fresh from the ocean salmon.
We loved it and I'm ready for round two at the Shimoda Salmon Festival in November!
I even made some sashimi that was horrible (nor that good) from the eggs!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I just thought these were adorable!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tooth Fairy!!

My son finally lost his first tooth!!!!* For those of you wondering who the previously named scab picker is, it is Em. Why do I mention it at the risk of defaming my wonderful beautiful spouse? Because it is relevant, she has been waiting for six years to be able to pull out Max's tooth. No not the pediatric dentist but the business arts major lady. She likes to pick anything that is a blemish, be it a zit, ingrown hair, scab, mole (that hurts, repeatedly), wart, ingrown toe nail (she still hasn't forgiven me for letting the Podiatrist fix it for me instead of letting her yank on it), etc. So the chance to pluck out a little tooth was too much for her. As soon as she found out it was loose, poor Max was subject to much poking and prodding by mother. I finally had compassion on both of them and brought home some topical anesthetic for Max and a extraction forceps for Em. A quick twist and a yank and it popped out with no problem, thus fulfilling a lifelong fantasy for Em and great excitement for Max. It didn't even hurt him!

Hint/tip for you parents of tooth shedding children, if you decide to tell your kid about the tooth fairy make sure you don't forget to do your part! I forgot the first night. Oops. luckily I had told him "she" might not come the first night. He was very excited the next next morning to find the 500 Yen!

*Normal exfoliation time is 5-7 years old.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Unnamed Ramen House

We went to an wicked good place to eat for lunch last week. I finished work early and we went with the two younger kids. The name was only in Kanji so we don't know what it was called, but at least it had an English menu. It was filled with customers both American and Japanese, so it must be good right? Right! It was very very good.

It had a traditional sit on the ground eating area and a bar area to eat at. the kitchen was open and part of the room. They had fast and kind service too.The ramen noodles were awesome and plentiful... and the gyoza, Japanese dumplings, were divine (these were for you Brandon). Gabe dove right in and even punk Sam loved the noodles. (It again took 10 minutes of persuading to get him into the restaurant with promises of not having to eat anything and that we could go to the Bx for pizza after.) It is now my favorite Japanese Restaurant! (Max's is still 100 Yen Sushi, which he asks for all the time.)
I like this comparison of these two kiddos.
*excerpt from their menu! =)

Friday, October 24, 2008


A few of my siblings mentioned, in the comments of previous posts, a picture of me looking as Gabe does. I think this is it...! 
 Do you see any resemblance? 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gum Ball Torture

I had to make a run to the store the other day and Max was going to go with me. He quickly grabbed two quarters from his money jar to buy a gum ball. (We always deny him things by saying "Do you have your money with you?") We got there and of course he doesn't want to get the small ones that are a quarter, he want the 50 cent ones that are huge and can't even fit in my mouth. So we walked around the store with him gnawing on it and getting greener and greener. I tried to ignore him and couldn't bare to look at him. I was praying I wouldn't run into any patients. "Hey look there's Dr. Warner and his son is eating a giant gumball! Can I have one mommy?" We only, amazingly, saw one person we knew and they weren't a patient. So it was OK, but boy was he a sticky green mess.

So here is what he looked like upon arrival at home.-One of my favorite trauma stories from residency was having to go into the ER at 2am to fix a broken tooth. How did the kid break it? His friend hit him in the tooth with a giant gumball or jawbreaker!

-BTW that citrus chicken Em made there in the back ground was delicious!!!! My wife Rocks!!!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Boy #3

Gabe got his first big scrape(s) the other day. It was pretty sad. I heard him crying outside and went out to see what was wrong. Sam assured me that he (Sam) was not at fault. (yeah right) We brought him in and cleaned him up and he was fine in no time. The wounds though continued to get redder and redder and swollen. So now he looks like this (minus the few scabs that may or may not have been pulled off by one he previously trusted.) (The circled part is just from his messy eating habits)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oriase Gorge Take 2

Monday, I had the day off for Columbus Day for the first time in who knows how many years. In RI we didn't get it off but we got Victory Over Japan Day off. Go Figure. I think it is the only state that is still celebrating that. I personally had never heard of it.


It was perfect weather and we made another attempt at the Oriase Gorge. Sam tried to pull the "I want to go home" bit again, but we nipped it in the bud. It was gorgeous and the leaves were JUST beginning to turn colors. This time we went further up the Gorge and saw lots of beautiful waterfalls and picturesque scenery. At the top of the Gorge is Lake Towada, where we had a picnic with the boys.

Here are my latest pics: