If a tree falls in your back yard

You know, it's really hard to get a sense of scale from a tree when it is upright. You can walk around it, try to climb it, or throw things up in the branches, but they deceive you. Maybe it's foreshortening, or slimming lines. I wonder if the secret behind big hair is that proponents are hoping to create the same optical illusion as a big tree - the top just kinda diappears in a froth of leaves, or hair.

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Doing 120 Plowing Over Mailboxes

I was tootling along in the middle lane of southbound 35W at a gentle, legal speed. Someone changed from the right lane into the middle lane in front of me. I tapped the brakes to match their speed, and all hell broke loose.

I must have hit black ice and gone into a four wheel skid. I let off the brakes right away, but the car snapped sideways. The car was pointing at the left guard rail. I think at that point the tires started to bite again - I remember hearing them squeal - but the rear end must not have hooked up because the car kept rotating.

Suddenly I was in the left lane staring into the windshield of an oncoming car - 180 degrees from where I had been heading. At this point I think that I had the clutch in and was hunting for the right gear, which was probably an error. In racing and police driving courses the mantra is: if you start to spin, both feet in. If your car is more than sideways then you probably want to lock up your brakes and get stopped ASAP, rather than fool around trying to catch it.

However, I was still turning. My Wheel of Fortune wasn't going to stop on “Trip to Bermuda” at all. Another 180 degrees went by and I was facing the correct direction on the left shoulder. For just a brief thousandth of a second I thought that I might have just come through it completely unscathed.

Then I heard that sickening crunch.

I was still rolling, though, and the car slotted easily into second, so I gave it a blip of the throttle and engaged the clutch. I checked my rearview mirrors to see seemingly motionless traffic behind me. I fed in a little more gas and the car seemed to be rolling straight with no problems. No thunking. No more crunching. No squeals of tortured metal giving way and no fountains of oil spraying across all three lanes.

I stepped on the gas and continued on my way to work.

When I parked, I opened the door and looked at the rear quarter panel. I was sure that I had hit there. However, the rear was straight and true. I was shocked. Sometimes when one hits something with a car it sounds worse than it is because the car resonates.

I took a step to the left so I could see past the open door. A brutal gash sliced across the fender of my poor sweet baby. My car, paid off for barely a month, was very hurt. Sixty thousand miles of commuting and road trips. Our plans for mad dashes across the continent were themselves dashed in three seconds of black ice.

I should mention that I am completely uninjured. My mp3 player didn't even skip. The frozen clementine orange barely moved from its cozy home next to the air compressor on the floor. My airbags didn't go off. The boxes in my back seat did not initiate a garbage-alanch. Inside of my car, the only indication that anything had happened was my own smell of desperation and panic.

Of course, Thursdays are the busiest day at work, but I could barely click to run a set of queries without considering where I could source a bumper skin, and whether or not I would need a new bumper bar. My mental survey of damages kept rolling through my head and interrupting my mostly automated tasks.

I think that I will be okay, financially, even though my insurance wouldn't cover the damages to my car. Since I just paid off my car, I switched to only liability coverage. Liability insurance would cover any damages to the guard rail, but I didn't stick around to ask if it was injured.

Switching to liability saves $400 per six months. Factor in my $500 deductible, and I will break even if the damages don't exceed $900. I can easily foresee $2000 in repair costs, but I might be able save some cash by sourcing some parts myself.

One last thing: I always wear my seatbelt. You should too.

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You can tell your DJ anything

I met with a good but rarely seen friend of mine tonight. I had two delicious beers, stuffed my face with food, and babbled on endlessly. Pam sipped a glass of wine, ate most of my fries, and dispensed sage advice like she had thought about it in advance and then prepared notes.

I went to my car just as relaxation was starting to turn into a buzz. If I would have stayed longer I would have switched to water. I wouldn't have minded staying longer - it's a beautiful night and I don't mind the gusts of wind. However, the timing was perfect, since I met my friend Monte at Kory's house when I went to close the windows in anticipation of upcoming stormy weather.

Monte and I chatted for just a short while, but it seemed productive - out there on the deck with my feet up. Maybe I was just relaxed for the first time in a great while. It's the new/old house - it just feels more like home, and that makes me feel better, even when I'm not home. I guess knowing that there is a place to go at the end of the night makes all the difference.

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it’s the eye of the tiger/it’s the thrill of the fight

A friend of mine recently said to me:

“You'll be okay- you're a survivor.”

If by survivor he meant something like crash survivor, then he may have a point. Is that roast pork that I smell? Delicious!

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I'm done temping for the moment. Feel free to ask for me by name for all your temping needs, I'm cheap, easy, and available! I'm also a good babysitter!

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I’ve learned more about Debian than I ever wanted to

No matter how much fun it is to stretch out sleeplessness on into the night, I should really go to bed. My laundry is in the dryer and I don't have any outstanding server issues - except for getting java and stuff to work. Didn't I just do this a few years ago? I am such a retard.

Any minute now I am going to be banned from the gallery irc chat, I just know it - and then fired from my temp job, and then…

I should go to bed.

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Go towards the light

In an almost Dicksensien turn, a secret benefactor paid for my domain name. He told me not to feel guilty for renewing my domain name. Should I feel guilty for wanting to spend it on bus fare to get to my temp job? No! Vanity and pride will prevail and I will maintain jpmullan.com and all that name implies.

If you're wondering, the money was because I am hosting nightly builds (CVS snapshots) of the gallery source code. The funny part is that after I initially set up the cron job there was very little actual work on my part beyond the occasional cleanup of extra versions. Of course, I made the decision a long time ago never to be too prideful to accept a gift. Thank you, mysterious benefactor!

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Fade to Black

There is a good chance that jpmullan.com will go away for a while, since I can't afford to renew the domain name and DNS services. It's expiring today, so you might not even read this. Don't worry, this “content” won't disappear into the Matrix, but it might hide for a while.

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I don’t think it was a vertebra after all

Here I am at my new temp job, enjoying that sort of illicit pleasure that one derives from doing non-work-related things at one's desk. I guess that it is technically my lunch, so I can't get in to too much trouble. Did I mention the sensation of fire ants nibbling on my spine? Oh joy! There's only so much that Acetaminophen can do for you, and then it's just raw guts that keeps you temping. Temper Fi!

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Could I borrow a cup of Vertebrae?

Ow. I pulled something in my back while watching the cutest baby in the world. I lay on the floor while Melissa tried to get Noah to sleep. He screamed for an hour and a half before Lisa and Stan got home, and then was asleep within minutes.

I slept on the floor there. Last night I could barely roll onto my side. In the morning I was able to crawl to the bathroom. Now I can stumble around on two feet, but I often need things to brace me.

I'm gonna make it to work tomorrow dag gummit.

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