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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hot feet!

After work I decided to go to the South Jetty Beach in Fort Pierce and take some pictures of the beach. So right around 5pm on a nice hot sunny day I get to the parking lot. The little voice in my head says “take your shoes…..the sand will be hot”. Hot? Hah! I’m a native Floridian, I’m *used* to hot. So the little lazy voice overrides that with a complaint of then having to carry the sandals. Keep in mind my tender toes have been stuffed and sweating inside sneakers for 10 hours at this point.

I grab my camera and hop out barefooted……right onto the warm black asphalt parking lot. There must have been someone parked there before me because it wasn’t toooooo bad. Lock the truck and head over to the pavilion that goes to the walk. As I cross the parking lot, I find myself walking on the white lines because they aren’t hot. The orginial little voice repeats “the sand will be hot” but hey I’m stubborn. Get over to the pavilion in one piece and figure the sand can’t be worse than the parking lot! Bravely I step down onto the dune. My first thought was, “this isn’t too bad”.

See, there’s this problem that the nerves in your feet take a few milliseconds to send the signal of “HOT! HOT!” to the brain. My brain told my feet to man up and keep going. Unfortunatly for my feet, my legs listen to my brain and not them. Now I’m about halfway down the sandy walk…and my feet are sending up smoke signals. All of a sudden the HOT HOT signal fully reaches my brain! OW!! Desperate for pain relief, I realize the walk posts are casting a foot sized shadow and plop both feet there for a second. “Now what?” asks the first voice triumphantly.

There’s a point of no return when you are in a situation like this. There I am, standing in a shadow of a piling realizing that it’s about the same distance back to the truck as it is down to the water. As my feet cool down in the shadow, I get brave and decide to just go for it. I mean, I could always run to the ocean right?

So the second stubborn voice reminds me to get a move on before someone sees me trying to balance in the piling shadow. Off we go! Having cooled down for a second, my feet were brave. They waited until we got to the actual beach sand to resume the distress signals. Now here’s another problem-the dune sand was hard and you can walk fast on hard sand. Beach sand is soffffft and you sink in with each step. The faster you try to walk, the further you sink with each step! As the lava temperature sand starts flowing over the tops of my feet I realize I should’ve brought the shoes.

At this point I’ve realized that I’m going to have burned feet. No way out of it. I start analyzing the pain as the ocean seems to retreat further away. Heel? Nope, heel is fine, nice and thick. Sole? Ok, that’s a little hot but no sizzling feelings. Ball? Ball is as thick as heel. Pads of toes? Whimpering and whining. Joints of toes? ON FIRE! I definintely feel some sizzling from there. By now it’s too late, it just hurts and I still go.

Finally I get to the ocean and Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I don’t even care when the first wave runs up my legs and soaks the bottom of my shorts! I stood there for a couple of minutes pondering the fact that I will have to go back the way I came….(sigh). Well, too late now! Once my toes are cooled down to whining stages versus screaming stage I head up the beach for some pictures. As I’m sure you can imagine, I stayed in the water as much as possible.

After about an hour, it was time to finish off the burns and head back. I don’t remember much of the walk back as I was running mentally through every thought I could to distract my feet from their two minute walk on fire! Thankfully that beachs has showers with the foot options so I rinsed off my poached piggies until they went back down to whining stages.

A few hours later at home I dared to finally look……sure enough, two nice big blisters on my second toes were there. The other toes all have let me know they too will have blisters when I wake up tomorrow.

Moral of the story: TAKE YOUR SHOES. SAND IS HOT. :)

I did however get some nice pictures so it was all worth it!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Long life CF bulbs? Nope. At least, not the one I've tried.

About a year ago I tried one of the compact flourescent bulbs in my fan's light fixture. I've only replace the "regular" type bulbs about every 2 years in this fixture, so when the package said these CF bulbs would last up to 5 years I was even happier! The price was about 4x the cost of a name brand incandescent bulb, but I figured the longer life would make up for that.

Fast forward to two nights ago. I had noticed my light had been getting dim the last month-I was having to turn on extra lights if I wanted to draw (defeating the purpose of a more efficent bulb). Two nights ago I started seeing light flickering out of the corner of my eye. Thinking it was the cat's shadow from jumping down, I ignored it. A few minutes later the light started turning itself off and on! It looked like someone was playing with a dimmer switch. After a minute of this the dog started barking at the lights-she hardly ever barks so that was creepy. I got her quiet and sat and watched the bulb die a slow death. It took about 5 minutes to die, turning off and on, dimming and undimming, putting on a light show. Much different from a normal bulb that goes POP and is done (and then you get to shake it to make sure it's realllllly dead).

So I got half the life out of a 4x more expensive bulb. To boot, there's MERCURY in this bulb. Am I supposed to drive 20+ miles to a recycling facility to discard this? My other option is to poison my future groundwater. Not a great choice. What's so bad about the incandescent bulbs? Guess what-they are planning on making it impossible to buy the incandescent bulbs in only a few more years! "They" being the US government, Europe, and a couple other countries. Why?!?!?! I have to imagine the heat that a normal bulb puts out into the world can't be as bad as the mercury the CF bulbs use/contain. Unless they start a recycle program in the stores that sell the bulbs, most people are going to trash them.

Moral of the story: This is one person who will be stocking up on "normal" bulbs when we get closer to the mandated CF dates. I'll take a little heat over short life and mercury.

GO BULBS! :) :)

Susan and crew

Addendum: My typical usage patterns were exactly the same when I was using the normal bulbs, so that did not contribute to the short life :).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Neat Batman poster!

I finally ended up liking the Joker character in the last Batman, just because they made him seem kind of human (warped human, but human)...... and now he's back! The poster for the movie is neat, check it out here:

Pretty cool huh?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Having a cat can open doors.....literally!

I'm a cat owner...although sometimes I think he owns me. Or at least he thinks he does!
A long time ago he learned that if I did not shut the door all the way, he could hook his paw underneath and pull it open. This has now lead to him thinking he owns EVERY door, to be opened at his whim, regardless of whether or not the door is actually shut all the way.
He now also thinks that if he can not open the door, if he stands and meows pitifully and loudly I will come open the door for him.

I do have to admit, sometimes it'll work and I will open the door for him-I figure he needs to go use his litterbox. Several months of this and now I have my hands full untraining him! You see, when he paws the door it rattles loudly in the frame. At 3am, this is not desireable and leads to all sorts of objects becoming airbourne projectiles. Then, a few hours later when I get up, I forget what I tossed at the cat door and end up tripping over it!

So, you see, now I never have to worry about doors being closed to me. I just have to worry about doors being closed to my cat! That and things I've thrown at 3am that might trip me up at 6.....

That's my cat in the sketch below :)