This node is dedicated to "Elaine," who handles hypothermia like a boss and doesn't afraid of anything. Some details may have been omitted for security reasons.
08:00 - I unlocked my computer and tabbed
to check the dimensions of a PCB
I needed to mount, copied them down, and hid the browser again. After starting the London Symphony Orchestra
playing, I picked up the pencil again, and began to make up a template.
09:30 - A green LED blinked on my computer, and I looked over to see why I was being nick-highlighted. "Hey Scout, you might be able to help me with this: I need a computer for in a car." Yeah? Then he mentioned it was for a Land Cruiser, and I understood why he'd come to me. Mmm, rugged embedded systems.
It was lunch time before I got out to the workshop to drill my holes, then I was loading a towel and change of clothes into a small backpack. I began scurrying around the house, preparing to be out till some time the next day. I grabbed my phone, and had slipped it half way into my pocket when my eyes fell on the black steel box of one of my current projects sitting on my desk. Oh, I should grab a shot of that for Elaine, I thought. I slid the lid off the box, and snapped a photo of the contents before returning my phone fully to my pocket. The Final Countdown came on, finishing play-out right on 15:00, coinciding almost as if intentionally synchronised with me tying my other shoe lace. A few minutes later, and I was out the door, and sprinting across the main road to the bus stop. There was a mild but chilly breeze while I stood there waiting, and cloud was light and scattered, in other words a nice afternoon.
16:15 - I walked briskly but naturally North, 20km from where I had started, glancing at my wrist-worn computer every few minutes to check position. At current rate, I should make the connection point, a little over 2km away, in 15 minutes.
16:37 - "Is that your phone number printed across the front of your shirt?" I turned back to the bus driver, looking down at the front of my shirt even though I knew perfectly well what it looked like. It was a common mistake to make seeing as the sequence of numbers was about the right length for a phone number, and started with the correct digits for the area. Actually I blame the mistake mostly on the fact that that first two octets are missing their leading zero.
"Oh. Nah, it's not a phone number, commonly mistaken for one though." This was actually the first time I'd yet had a bus driver ask about it.
"Ooh, some kind of secret code then is it?"
I grinned, "No, but that would be cool. See if you can read the back then." I turned around again so my back was facing him, exposing the binary equivalent of the contents of the front.
"Oh, computer code. I've never seen a shirt like that before." This did not at all surprise me, I hadn't either, and the shirt was custom printed. "I see a lot of t-shirts every day, and I don't reckon I've ever seen two shirts the same on a trip." The man furrowed his brow for a few moments while waiting to pull into the traffic.
"Yeah, there's a lot out there, hey." I agreed with the guy, but didn't really know what to say. Then I saw a glint in his eye as he translated the ASCII string on the back of my shirt. The grin returned to my face as he read it out. Any bus driver who can do that in his head is a Pretty Cool Guy in my books.
16:47 - "Thanks, chief. Have a good one." 10 minutes later, after deep discussion on t-shirts with the bus driver, I parted company with him to return to travelling on foot.
Ok, this is a really weirdly numbered street. Why is 7 up there when this is 1? Oh, right, 1, 1a, 2, 2a, 3, 3u1 ...wait, what? I've never seen Unicode street numbering before, but cool. Hmm, half these mail boxes don't even have numbers, Ah, that'll be it. The top of a horse trailer was just visible a few houses away.
"O hai, Scout." [Richie] wandered out as I approached the front door to the house. "Do you live around here or something? 'Cos I've often seen you on my train before."
"Sup? Not really, I used to live along the train line, and I'd catch it both ways to work and uni."
We entered the house, and were immediately presented with a folding table around which sat on milk crates half a dozen young men drinking beer and playing Warlords and Scumbags (President in other countries). I pulled up the only actual chair in the room, there not being any milk crates left, and immediately realised why no one was sitting on it when it promptly collapsed under me. I was dealt in the next hand, and managed to not come last, having only played once before. But I was glancing out the window every few minutes, and my concentration was not entirely on the game. Did I just say The Game? Snap.
17:30 - "Deal me out of this one, guys." I stood slowly, and flicked the lock switch on my computer. As I stepped into the corridor, my eyes ran over the five planes in each direction. After making notes of points of interest, a few steps took me to the other end of the corridor, and I continued to build my index of the house. A pair of small white dogs were added, as were a young man with a MacBook Pro and the young woman to whom the horse trailer and presumably attached ute belonged.
17:50 - I looked up from my wrist at the white blob that was pulling up in the driveway, my eyes fixed on it waiting for the occupants to step out. [David] had a shirt on, I was proud. Elaine and her boyfriend, [Patrick], hauled out a tent and several green bags of drinks. Awesome, these were the people I'd been waiting for.
18:45 - Elaine and [Adam] changed and headed out to the pool. It was the work of only a few moments for me to be changed into my trunks and board shorts and join the pair at the pool, Patrick following me out. Jumping in with a big splash would be cool here, but the water's probably pretty cool too. I dipped a foot in, oh ok, a bit cool but not bad. About 17 degrees, I make it. I tossed my towel onto a chair and slid in to waist height.
"Just get in, Scout. It's warmer when you're actually in the water." Adam threw a handful of water on me, and I shivered.
"Wheee," the bulk of Richie zipped past where Elaine and I were sitting, and he plunged into the deepest part of the pool, sending a shower over Adam and Elaine, and just missing me. A handful more people gradually filled the pool over the next few minutes, and Patrick paced the grass behind Elaine, unconvinced to get wet. "Scout, get in properly. You aren't wet enough. It's not that cold." Richie waded slowly and threateningly towards me, stretching out his arms. A moment later I was transformed into a ball and hurtling towards the deep end. The back of my head slammed into the water, rib cage following straight after.
"Aaargh," I bobbed to the surface, automated recovery procedures temporarily taking precedence over any distaste to the temperature of the water. The water was blasted from my nose a la a whale, and my eyes flickered open. "Thanks, Richie," I said sarcastically. "Oh man, that is cold." On second thought, it wasn't that cold really. I did a lap or two, and let my body adjust to the water temperature.
19:10 - "Dude, it's nice in here." I called to the youngest person there, who was not actually a dude, but no one cared. She dropped in, and I waded back to the ledge where Elaine was seated, and planted myself crab-style next to her, not really feeling like doing any actual swimming.
19:30 - "You right there? You're shivering. You must be cold." Elaine laughed when I just smiled back. Everyone had been joking about me being the scrawniest person in the water and having no fat to keep me warm. I had barely moved for the past 20 minutes or so, just sitting observing the others playing around in the water. Might as well join them, I thought. I half turned to face into the pool, noting that my right thigh seemed somewhat reluctant to do its bit in doing so. Heh, I began massaging the front of the apparently cramped muscle, pausing for a few minutes from launching into the water. Suddenly my breathing became fast and heavy. Heh, not unusual, I've got to stay afloat somehow.
"Do you want to go inside and get a bit warmer. You look pretty cold." Elaine glanced down at me, waiting for a reply. Nearly a minute passed, and still none came. "My goodness, Scout, you're purple. Right, out of the pool." She reached for my hand, and stood up, pulling me up with her. Elaine didn't look like taking no for an answer, and for some odd reason I had no desire to decide for myself. I took a step onto the pavement, so far so good. Well, why wouldn't it be? Nothing unusual here so far. "Which one's your towel?" Elaine dragged her eyes across the pile of towels thrown on the chairs. I went to reply, but neither my jaw nor my vocal chords responded. Uh, yeah, there might be something wrong here now. I raised an arm to point, or at least I'm sure I did, but said arm never moved. "Come on, let's get you under a warm shower." Hand in hand, Elaine dragged me towards the back door, me walking any direction but forwards, motor control like that of a stone drunk.
Adam's face appeared at the bathroom window, watching on with interest. One hand grasping mine, Elaine turned on the water with the other, and shoved me into the shower. "Scout, can you talk?" I tried to shake my head, but it may not have happened. She turned to Adam, "He's got mild hypothermia." In hindsight, she admitted it was more like severe. I closed my eyes for a moment. Wait, did I? Why did I feel so sleepy? Elaine explained what needed to be done to warm me up. I listened intently, but missed a handful of words as my eyes kept falling shut and I passed out momentarily. I could have sworn I was responding to her with either a scowl or a ridiculous grin that was bigger than my face, but she's positive my expression never changed. Without her hand to hold, I couldn't stay standing up. The water was scalding hot, a mere 40 degrees of course though. For once my mind seemed completely blank, like you want it to be when you're trying to go to sleep but it never is. I was thinking about nothing whatsoever. Slowly my internal body temperature rose 10 degrees from 23.
20:00 - "Alright, I'm going to wrap you in some blankets." Elaine turned off the taps and handed me my towel. No idea how she got that. I dried myself, still standing very unsteadily. She let go of my hand long enough for me to don a jumper someone must have fetched for her. I was led to the room where cards had been being played earlier, and half seated, half shoved, into a chair, and a blanket wrapped around me. Only now was my brain functioning almost normally again. I wanted to thank Elaine, but still I was unable to talk. She rubbed her hands up and down my shins, the friction producing heat, and the movement stimulating circulation. "I'm going outside for a bit. You stay there and get warm. Ok?" I wasn't really going to argue.
20:15 - Still no vocal abilities, but at least I could walk in a straight line. My backpack was just around the corner, so I grabbed some normal clothes, and sent of a text message to a slim number of key people I knew would want to know my status, able to type relatively normally.
20:45 - Pizzas had been ordered, and my vocal abilities were now back to the point where I could sing along to random terrible 80s and 90s songs that were being played. Richie left his computer unattended, so I loaded up /b/, expecting the worst, and waited for people to show interest in posts. The board was unusually almost SFW, and the Australians were getting down to business. A "complete this shape" challenge had just been posted, and I was almost what you might call bored. I did the obvious, and clicked Reply. You know it's never a good idea, but you do it anyway. Start -> Er, Photoshop, Gimp, anything? Oh wait, of course, MS Paint. Wow, 7's Paint is ...different.
The climax of the day was now passed. I could tell you about the pizzas, or about the tent, or how I ended up spinning around on my backside on the wooden floor, or about the terrible TV show about a bunch of people discovering they're lesbian some of us watched later that night, or the short film about why using petrol as a solvent is a bad idea and why you're mother should have an emergency steam system in her laundry, but although they are no more insignificant, they will not be detailed.
(24/10/10) 03:30 - I would have been happy to have stayed in the tent, but a few people went home and there ended up being enough apparatus for sleeping on inside. That, and a certain person didn't really want me outside when it was 8 degrees. Those that were in the tent relocated inside, and tried to sleep.
04:15 - Those that were still up weren't being overly quiet. The sleeping areas were acoustically isolated somewhat, but despite how tired I was I couldn't sleep. I moved myself to the floor of the room adjacent to where I was, trying not to disturb those already asleep there. The room was mostly silent bar rhythmic breathing, and my eyelids blinked a few times before I fell into a deep sleep, to awake again at 06:00 as the first streams of day were cast across my face.
I am tired and do not wish to continue typing. Also I have not yet finished the extended capacity battery pack for my computer, so after 7 hours of use, it is running low. It is now 09:00 on Sunday, and I must depart. Have a good day, E2.