Sunday, March 27, 2011

When Lightbulbs Attack!

Some friends and I were sitting around the kitchen table the other day, just minding our own business and having a nice chat.  Our calm, relaxed interlude was interrupted when one of the lightbulbs in the ceiling fan above us exploded. EXPLODED!  It rained glass shards down on me, littering the table, bench and floor with debris.  We looked up in shock and saw smoke wafting away from the remains of the bulb and filament that were still screwed into the socket. Good thing we hadn't started eating dinner yet, or all our food would have had to be tossed out.  Lots of tiny little slivers of glass can really ruin a good meal!


Never in my life have I seen a lightbulb explode. I've seen them blow out with a loud pop when you flip on the light switch, and sometimes smoke would fill the glass.  But this was the first time I've ever had one actually break the glass.  And it wasn't even right when we turned the light on.  It had been on for some time before it decided to give up the ghost.  That bulb must have been a little drama queen to feel the need to "go out with a bang" like that. I guess it preferred making a grand exit, like Dumbledore in "Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix".  Dumbledore's got style!  I love that scene. It makes the whole magician-disappearing-in-a-cloud-of-smoke routine look so five minutes ago. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cool Tree in 'Iao Valley State Park

Monday, March 21, 2011

Heal Already, Dang It!

If you read my most recent post, you'll know that I've been learning to ride a motorcycle and that two weeks ago I crashed and burned on a turn.  Well, crashed at least.  This is what she looked like while lying pathetically in a pile of sand after the wreck.  I was glad to have my cell phone in my pocket so I could call for help, and I was equally happy to be able to get some pictures of her after her first wreck. *sniff*  Molly took it like a champ! She certainly fared better than I did at least.


I wasn't hurt nearly as bad as I would have expected, but that deep scrape on the top of my knee is being a real pain. It was such a deep gouge that it is taking FOREVER to heal.  It gets smaller and smaller, but it still hurts sometimes.  Like yesterday, when I was trying to slip in the door without letting my Chihuahuas get past me, and I scraped my bare knee roughly against the metal edge of the screen door.  An entire rainbow of words escaped my mouth at that event.  OUCH. I was finally able to wear jeans Saturday evening, although any time I had to bend my knee it was uncomfortably tender and sore where the jeans pressed into my knee.  Which was pretty much any time I had to take a step or sit down. But that's still an improvement considering that for a long while even my baggy, light cotton pajama pants hurt whenever they would gently brush against my knee while I was walking.  I'm pretty sure these bruises are going to be sticking around for several more weeks, unfortunately. I guess I need to work on getting a tan so they'll be less noticeable!

I've been waiting to be able to wear jeans again (without pain!) so I could get back on Molly and do some more practicing. She's got her new shift lever installed and has been waiting patiently for me to take her for another spin. I'm hoping this week I'll be able to get out there! I have to admit I'm a bit nervous to go out by myself, especially since it's been 2 weeks since I've been on her and am probably rusty on the little bit I'd learned. Not to mention, since I'm not fully healed from my last crash, I can't help but wonder how badly it would turn out if I happened to wipe out again. I'm going to have to rope Sam into cruising the loop with me so he'll be on hand if I need him! The weather has been sensational lately, so I know he won't mind a chance to get out on the bike, even if it is just to lap me around the loop for a while.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And This Is Why I Always Wear a Helmet: My First Motorcycle Crash

I totally wiped out on the bike Monday.  I'm not talking about "dropping" my bike either, but full on laying it down.  It happened so fast I'm still not exactly sure what happened.  I was making a left turn and I felt it getting away from me.  I was turning too wide, either because I wasn't leaning enough to make the turn or because I was trying to take it too fast.  There was a large patch of sand at the side of the road, and I was headed straight for it.  Knowing that sand and motorcycles do not play well with each other, I was not a happy camper.  I could see disaster heading straight for me. I don't know if it was the sand that made me lose control or if I tried to over-correct my turn to avoid the sand by leaning too much or if I just panicked and tried to turn the handlebars.  Anyone who rides a bike knows that you do NOT turn by turning the handlebars! I have no clue which one caused my crash, but it seemed that in about a single instant I went from seeing that sand coming my way and realizing that I wasn't going to make the turn to feeling my head smack against the pavement and then poor Molly and I were lying on our sides in that giant patch of sand.

I can't believe I wasn't hurt more than I was.  I NEVER get on a bike without wearing a helmet, even when I'm riding behind someone else.  I can only imagine how badly my head would have been hurt if I wasn't wearing mine.  It hit hard enough to scrape the side of the helmet and knock my visor off its track and put in a small crack. Yet I didn't even get so much as a mild headache. Whew!  Considering how bruised and scraped some of the rest of me is, I'm really glad my noggin was protected!  I was wearing jeans, some sturdy Keen hiking shoes, and my North Face jacket.  My poor left knee got the worst of the damage.  It managed to get scraped and bruised in two different spots - right on the patella and below it, where you might skin your knee if you feel down. I've got lots of bruising all over both legs, and some scratches on the lower part of my left leg. And my left hand is torn up pretty badly.  It hurts like the dickens, mostly because the worst part is right where my palm creases, so every time I move my thumb it stretches and folds the wound.  Ouch! When we stopped moving, I realized my left ankle and foot were under the bike.  It took me a few minutes to be able to find a way to lift the bike off my leg.  That beast is pretty heavy, especially when I've got one foot trapped under it and can't brace myself for more leverage. I was worried I was going to have more damage to my foot or ankle, but thankfully it wasn't anything more than bruises and scrapes.  Those rugged shoes really did a good job protecting my feet!

I was very glad to have my cell phone in my jacket pocket too, especially when I realized I couldn't pick the bike up on my own.  The tires were raised up on the curb, and with all that sand it made it even harder to try to get it lifted.  I could move it some, but not enough to get it all the way up. Looks like I need to start lifting heavier weights. Luckily for me, I have a super awesome friend, Sam, who I can always count on to help me out no matter what.  I gave him a call and he left work to come rescue me.  He was a Navy Corpsman and served with both the Navy and the Marines, so his medical knowledge came in handy too.  After he drove my bike home for me and I drove his vehicle, he gave me a thorough exam to make sure I wasn't hurt more than I realized. I had pretty much decided if I could move all my limbs and wasn't bleeding profusely I was probably fine. He knows better, so he took care of me and made sure I was truly okay.

Despite sliding across pavement on my side, and despite the bruises and scrapes I received, my bike and my clothes survived quite nicely.  I can't believe with as much damage as my knee took that my jeans didn't even scuff, much less rip. They were dusty, and that's about it. My shoes look perfect except for, oddly enough, the inside of the tongue on the left shoe.  So weird!  How in the world did I tear the INSIDE of my shoe? Pure talent, readers.  Pure talent. And there is a very itty bitty spot on the sleeve of my jacket that has a scuff. And Molly handled the crash very well too. Her previous owners had installed crash pegs on her side to protect the body and the engine in the event of a crash.  I can now attest that they worked wonders!  Not a single scratch, scuff or dent on the body or engine.  My windshield is scuffed on the side, and the crash peg is scraped and scuffed pretty good, but otherwise the only real damage was to the shift lever, the peg of which snapped off.  But I ordered the replacement today and by the time I receive it and get it installed I should be healed up enough to get back out on the road for some more practice!  I should probably focus on my turns, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I've Got My Eye On You

Both of them, actually.  And they can SEE you! I had my LASIK surgery done a week ago, and I am so freaking happy with the results.  It's so amazing to be able to see clearly without contacts or glasses.  I just had my second follow-up vision appointment and can now boast 20/20 vision!  Before I had the surgery, my left eye was 20/400 and my right eye was 20/600.  Yes, that bad. I never expected them to be able to get my vision this good.  I thought for sure it would improve my vision, but that I'd still need a light prescription or something.  And of course I had all these doomsday imaginings of something horrible going wrong and ended up blinded or horribly disfigured and with worse vision than before I went in. 

If you've ever looked for information online for LASIK, you've probably seen some of the terrible websites out there whose sole purpose is to scare people away from the surgery. Oh, the pictures they post of surgeries gone wrong.  *shudder* I have to admit that those sites really made me doubt the wisdom of having the procedure done.  But thankfully I was an excellent candidate for the surgery, I have a great optometrist, and he recommended a fantastic, proven surgeon for the procedure. My eyes have healed wonderfully, my vision is great, and I am so, so happy I finally bit the bullet and was brave enough to have it done. Woohoo!