Thursday, March 27, 2008

Is it Time?

Driving north in our RV (Ya Rex, I'm one of those assholes) from AZ. a couple of winters ago I had this little gem come and pay me a visit. Meeting a semi truck I realized I was eye level with this coming right at me. Luckily it lost some altitude and came in a bit low. It came through the the windshield, deflected off the instrument pod and bounced back, breaking the windshield from the inside, skipped across the dash, hitting the passenger side windshield before running out of gas where it's seen above.

I always used to cringe a bit when meeting a semi on my motorcycle, now I cringe a bit more.... This is a prime example of "when your time comes, it comes. Just wasn't my time...............Two years ago on my BMW motorcycle I was heading towards Cody Wyo. from Yellowstone Park. I was day dreaming (a cardinal sin) on a straight stretch and suddenly realized a herd of 10-12 deer were crossing right in front of me. Early /5 BMW's don't have much for brakes so that option was out.... I picked a gap in the herd and went for it. Nearly wiped one deers nose with my right grip and nearly wiped one's ass with my left grip. Don't know how I missed them, not quite my time..............

As a 10 year old kid, I wasn't yet familiar with the science of combustibles. On the 3rd of July my best friend and I were playing with fire crackers at his dads construction yard. We threw a fire cracker in a 5 gallon bucket and it sounded cool. There was an old 55 gallon burn barrel so that was the next target. The explosion of the fire cracker sounded even cooler in that bigger barrel. We looked across the road and there sat the pictured big "cans" My buddy said "Wow I bet a fire cracker would really sound cool in one of those cans". Well not one to turn down a dare, I decided to be the one to do the deed. I approached the above "can" and proceeded to light a fire cracker near the opening. The next thing I know, WHOOOOOOOSH........ I have been blown about 30 to 40 feet back and I'm flat on my back. The noise was deafening like a rocket motor. Flames and smoke were billowing up. I remember watching the whole scene and seeing myself lying on the ground, looking down from above. Next thing I know I am getting up. The right half of my shirt was burned nearly off. The left front pocket of my shirt was stuffed full of loose fire crackers and luckily didn't go off. My face, hair and front right side upper torso were pretty well fried. Oddly I felt no pain, there was burnt skin hanging from my right arm and chest and I curiously inspected it. My buddies eyes were as big as saucers and he was speechless. I calmly walked down the street and headed towards home. The explosion was heard all over town and people were showing up thinking that a jet plane had crashed at the nearby airport. People saw me but no one offered me any help and I just walked down the street, obviously in severe shock by now. Finally I was picked up by someone and hauled to the hospital. During the explosion the empty tank (50000 Gallons) had rotated upwards and moved backwards ten feet or so, kinda like a big motor with all that thrust. You can see the deformed tank above and the row of tanks around it above. The tank looked like a big pillow compared to its neighbors. It blew the seams out (above) and flames shot out between the rivets too. Just wasn't my time...............I have over half a dozen more "not quite my time" stories in my 30 year construction career. Hopefully I will keep up the track record, as I get older the law of averages kinda starts to concern me though....................

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Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.