August 28, 2014

Diary: Only in San Francisco Dept.

Dianna, our Vanouver diarist – because she too can’t make up stuff this good – sends this piece clipped from Leah Garchik’s column in today’s San Francisco Chronicle..

 Megan McMahon sent word of a cute firm name, Transcendentist, in Berkeley. Googling it, I discovered an online review reminding would-be patients not to miss the foot rub.
Further research revealed that this eco-friendly dental practice, presided over by Dr. Fred Pockrass and “created” in 2003 by him and his wife, Ina Pockrass, includes on its staff a masseuse who provides a free foot massage with a teeth cleaning or any other appointment over an hour.
The dentist has a degree in meditation and is a certified tai chi teacher and yoga practitioner, and the site included a description of a visit: “Upon entering you remove your shoes and put on slippers … test your feet on carpets of untreated wool, which are placed on floors composed of marmoleum, a vinyl alternative made from flax, wood flour and rosin.”

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. Gord,
    This deserves more than a comment.
    While the names— Dr. Fred Pock-r-ass and In-a Pock-r-ass, are truly transcendental, I have to take issue with the inaccurate comments about Marmoleum®— a brand name, not a generic product as the Chronicle’s article assumed. Marmoleum® is not an alternative for vinyl. Rather, vinyl is an alternative for linoleum, which is made from flax, wood flour and rosin, and was used long before we turned oil into (vinyl) flooring. Those readers ancient enough will remember linoleum on their childhood kitchen and utility room floors. Long sheets side-butted together, they invariably cracked and lifted at the edges, making for a poor person’s flooring that was about one step up from cardboard.
    Then cheap oil was turned into longer lasting, stiff vinyl tiles, durable, easy to install, and adaptable to colourful patterns. But hard on the Earth’s climate, as we are learning. Following a couple of generations of vinyl, a Belgian firm recreated linoleum as Marmoleum®— cork-and-wood-backed linoleum tiles that click together, are sound=absorbing, and have all the benefits of vinyl without the climate-change downside.
    So Dr. Pockrass got something right. Maybe I’ll stop at Transendentist when I’m next in San Francisco. I’m due for a tooth cleaning and, after laughing so hard, I could use a neck massage.
    Michael Alexander