. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


2 June 2001

with thanks to Raven

Well, I fixed the left-side nav, thanks to Raven, who debugged my DHTML popup script with the obscure and luckily-functional attribute "scrollTop".

In addition, I made the colors of the good old LiveJournal look more like the ones right before you here. Plus, I forgot to change the look of the Of Cities and Deserts popup until now. Hm.

digital camera addiction

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a chemical truck ablaze

A couple weeks ago, as I was on my way to my middle sister Denise's birthday brunch, I passed by an impressive fire on the side of the road, which had the northbound 405 (or, as iBogost might say, Mister 405 North) closed for a solid 6 hours. The LA Times, conscious that you can't make money on the internet without charging someone for something, wanted to charge me $2 for the article about this, so here I am, not linking it.

Anyway, the fire above was apparently a chemical truck which collided with a couple cars and spun off the road, into a ditch. Nobody was seriously hurt, but the truck, carrying a fuel additive of some sort, began to burn, and seriously burn. As I passed by the truck (the 5th picture in the slideshow), I could feel the heat from the fire through my driver-side window.

The placement of the flaming vehicle was very near a ditch which drained straight into the ocean, so firefighters could not pour foam all over the truck, lest they send the chemical into the water. As I was going by, it was probably 10 minutes after the accident, as the CHP had just closed Mister 405 North to traffic, and the backup on that side of the freeway wasn't more than a mile or so long.

Well, I don't have an interesting story to tell about this, so I'll just let the pictures above show the story.


the thorn in my side. the side of my leg, that is

Well, I thought it was nothing to complain about. I was over at my sister's a few weeks back (actually, the day before the infamous Tehachapi trip), helping my dad and brother-in-law get rid of the yucca plant in the back yard. During this bit of outdoor assistance, I was impaled. One of the big pointed thorns of the plant stuck right into the side of my leg, about halfway around from my shin to my calf. It drew a considerable amount of blood, and I knew it had stuck in pretty deep, but my sister poked around with a needle a little bit and said she couldn't find anything, so I thought little of it. I figured all that was there was a little tip or sliver.

TMI (Too Much Information) alert: the following 2 paragraphs you need not read. It gets a little gross. But hell, why not? I don't have anything to hide, I'm only human; flesh, blood and spirit just like you.

A few days later, I stopped by the doctor, as it was still hurting rather considerably, and was as well considerably swollen and warm to the touch. "I think there's a piece still in there," I said, believing that there was something about the size of a sliver, a bare tip of the yucca plant still down in there. "Any fever or chills?" He asked. No. "Well, looks like the body's taking care of itself," he said, "give me a call if you get any fever or chills, or if it doesn't improve within a couple weeks. Then I'll give you some antibiotics." It did, of course, improve, but eventually it remained reddish, slightly swollen, a little achy and itchy. Every few days, the scab would come off in the shower or something, and would bleed a bit, dark red with some pus. (I told you you didn't have to read this far.) But it didn't hurt much, and I knew that whatever was still in there (I was certain at this point that there was a tip of the thorn in there) was being taken care of. It didn't get any worse, and I barely thought about it.

Then last night, the scab came off again, and I was cleaning it when I saw something dark and circular, about a half-centimeter around. I figured it was a deeper scab or something, and proceeded to clean around it when it moved, and I got it between my fingertips. Pulling the thorn out looked like unsheathing a sword. As you can see above, it's a solid half-inch long. I was, needless to say, shocked at its size. In my weirdest paranoid delusions, I thought it would be at most a third of this length. Today, it doesn't hurt or itch anymore, and the swelling is all but gone. Ultimately, the doctor was right: my body took care of itself and the thorn came out without much negotiation, but I can't help but think that if the doctor just cracked open a scalpel and poked around a bit, I could've avoided that next week of real hurting and the next month of periodic gross stuff. Now I'm wondering if I should find another doctor.

There is some better news, here. Oddly enough, this little episode has educated me a little more on how well this machine in which my ghost lives is designed. I'm quite impressed.

musings of señor prod.

The Revolution is not immune to ugliness.

3-day weekend, 3-day week, 3-day weekend. I could get used to this...


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-