Posts tagged “crash”.

MacBook Meltdown

I sit at an “L” shaped desk in my home office; to my left is my personal mac book pro, in front of me is my work PC. I was working feverishly this afternoon when I smelled something burning. Specifically, I smelled plastic burning. I jumped up from my desk panicked that my house was on fire.

I dashed out of my office headed for the closest of two fire extinguishers we keep in the house when I realized with a shock that I no longer smelled the burning plastic out in the hallway. Relieved that it wasn’t the pre-wired Christmas tree melting downstairs I bolted back into my office, feared an electrical fire, and frantically worried over what action I could take if it were the wiring in the walls.

I entered my office and sniffed the air in front of me like a bloodhound. It came from my desk. Then I saw wafts of faint grey smoke which rose over the back of my MacBook Pro. I moved all the wires away from my computer. I quickly disconnected the power cord, Firewire 800, and USB wires that were plugged into the device; fearing a short circuit I inspected each wire.  The wires were fine, not warm at all and still a smell like burning nylon persisted. I picked up the computer and sniffed it. Immediately I knew something inside my MacBook Pro had melted.

I opened a window, turned on the overhead fan, and aired out the room. The smell dissipated quickly. I realized I felt a little light headed; that too quickly passed.  With the power cord unplugged, the laptop only running on battery power, everything seemed fine.  I immediately started a backup of my data.  I’ve heard horror stories about Apple support replacing whole devices and not restoring data — that wasn’t going to happen to me.  I then looked for the support number and called Apple Care.

My Apple Care phone experience was extremely pleasant. My computer is under warranty and they scheduled an appointment for me to meet a technician at the local Apple Store in town. While I was on hold, on a whim, I plugged the power cord back into my computer.  I immediately smelled the burning plastic again, and unplugged it promptly.

So, some time in the not too distant future an Apple technician will crack open my laptop and either see a stray bit of plastic that got too close to something hot, or identify a faulty part and replace it.  Either way, I think my next Apple purchase will be Apple Care for my MacBook Pro.

Crash Test Dummy

Crash Test Dummy

I must recant.  In my previous post I stated, “No injuries.  I don’t even think you could fake one either.  My airbag didn’t even deploy.” Wow!  Was I incorrect in that assessment.

After the accident I felt fine.  100%.    Nothing wrong at all.  At least that’s what I thought.  I must have been so hyped on a natural high, adrenalized as it were, that I didn’t realize exactly what happened to me.

So it went like this.  BOOM!  My car is knocked SIDEWAYS.  My head snaps to my right shoulder.  My hands leave the steering wheel and slide right, hitting the windshield wipers.  I see black for about a second or so — I’m not comfortable saying I “blacked out” since I was aware that I lost my vision.  My car turned itself off, I drive a manual, and I’m sure my foot had to hit the brake, which will stall out the engine.  I got my bearings, which was another second or two.  Jumped out, and made sure everyone was OK.

The rest of the story is in my previous post.  Long wait, police officer, shouting, tickets, drugs, chest X-ray, home…

I played around on the Net that night.  Doing some Facebook stuff.  Making the last blog entry here.  I commented on Facebook, “4:30 a.m. and counting. I’m starting to feel physically ill.” I went to bed.  I had a horrible night.  Didn’t sleep much.  Was really uncomfortable, cold sweats, unsettled stomach, and at about 7:30 a.m. I sprang from bed to vomit uncontrollably for several minutes.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

I tried to sleep again afterwards.  I couldn’t get comfortable and I kept getting nauseous.  Then I correlated head movement to throwing up.  Move my head, puke my guts out.  Move my head, puke my guts out.  Now that I thought about it, my neck was really sore.  Put some ice on it.  A few phone calls to my Dr. and I made the decision to go to Urgent Care.  I should say I made the decision to go to Urgent Care too late.  At this point it felt like I had seriously injured my neck.  The pain was so intense, I would have sworn I had just fractured a vertebrae.  I couldn’t sit up.  I rolled a T-shirt under my neck for support, put my feet up on the wall, and had my wife dial 911.  I needed a ride to the ER.

The first responders were awesome.  Funny bunch of guys.  Good guys.  I apologized.  I really thought this was a bit much for what happened, but I really couldn’t sit up.  They stabilized my neck after I insisted that it was the worst of my trouble.  They were pretty convinced I just had a really bad flu.

The ambulance ride was rough.  Upon arriving in the ER I filled a bed pan for them — so I didn’t feel that much like a faker.  I was very dehydrated, in an increasing amount of pain, suffering from vertigo, nausea and really feeling downright shitty.  I told the Dr. about everything, my bronchitis, the tiny fender bender I had yesterday, and he said, “It’s not the drugs you started taking last night.  It’s the accident that did this.  We need to make sure you didn’t really twist and hurt your neck.”  So, I got a CAT scan and an X-ray of my neck, all negative, and the Dr. concluded that it was muscle spasms and soft tissue injuries.  Some Demerol, Torodol and some anti-nausea medicine made me feel much better, really quickly.  I like how fast intravenous medications can affect you.

Several prescriptions later and I was discharged.  I was in complete disbelief that such a small fender bender could twist someone up so badly.  If the Dr. had called me a sissy and told me I was faking, I would have believed him.  I don’t know why I was so afraid of being called a faker… but I was.  It was nice to have someone believe, even when I didn’t, and offer relief.

A few days later, I was chatting with the insurance adjuster, and she commented that the Crash Test Dummy’s you see on TV are only going 35 miles per hour when they crash.

So, I was wrong.  I hope everyone else in that other car didn’t feel as bad as I did a day after the accident.  No matter how rude or obnoxious the other driver was, no one deserves to have pain like that.

And did I mention, her Insurance is picking up everything?  Rental car too while my car is in the shop.  So, I don’t even have to pay a deductible.  It’s officially her fault.  They’ll pick up the Doctor bills and probably give me $20 to boot for pain and suffering.

Still, it wasn’t worth it.

n+1 sides to every story

Fender Bender

My car is completely payed off this February.

Where N equals the number of participants or observers to an event there will always be n+1 accounts of what happened.

This is my account.  I was driving in a parking lot.  Traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour when at approximately 3:50 p.m. a woman in a silver Taurus backed into my path and collided with my vehicle.  I had no time to react.  Boom!  And the event was over.  Our cars hit perfectly on the corners of the vehicle.  My right front corner was hit by her right rear corner as she backed out of the parking space.  My car stopped moving, and my windshield wipers turned on.  My hand must have hit the lever on impact.  That has no bearing on anything aside from I thought it was very strange.

I jumped out of the car to make sure everyone inside was OK.  Yeah, it was only a 10 mph crash… but a kid could have poked an eye out with a crayon or something I guess.  No injuries.  I don’t even think you could fake one either.  My airbag didn’t even deploy.

She was obviously a Nurse of some kind, deduced by her attire: scrubs.  It was obviously a new car, deduced from the dealer tag in the window.  And just three days after Christmas, no one needs that.  I offered my condolences.  She was obviously mad as hell, so I said no more.  I observed her scream several times at the child who was in the back seat.  And when I say scream I mean she shrieked.  She shrieked so nastily, which such hostility and hatred, that each time I felt a flight or fight response and all I could think was “poor kid.”

I called 911 and reported the accident.  They gave me a 30 minute ETA for an officer to arrive.  I called home to tell my wife I was involved in an automotive altercation and then I called my insurance company to report the incident and make sure they knew I wasn’t paying a dime because she was at fault as far as I was concerned.  I snapped a few photos for documentation purposes and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

The Officer arrived about 45 minutes later.  Remember how I said I was originally sympathetic to this woman’s misfortune?  Well, my sympathy completely ended after the Officer asked me my account of the situation and she acted out, yelling and hostilely denying the beginning of my diatribe after only uttering several words.  The Officer commanded her to go stand by her vehicle in that way Police do.  I swear Police have Jedi mind powers!  And doesn’t everyone know not to raise your voice to a police officer? That poor guy didn’t want to stand out in the cold and do all that paperwork because of her stupidity.  And he definitely didn’t want to do all that AND get yelled at.

I was given a sheet of paper to fill out by the officer.  When I gave the paperwork back to him, he informed me that her story was quite different.  I told him she popped right out of the space and I had no time to react.  He said OK, and went to his car and told me I could sit in my vehicle to get out of the cold.  So I waited some more.  Finally he gave me her paperwork, that she would receive mine, and he told me I was free to go.  I had checked my lights and most of them worked.  I lost a running light and asked him if that would be OK to drive with.  He said it should be fine.  He asked if I had any other questions.  I asked if he had determined fault or if fault was determined in a parking lot and he shared that he had not determined fault at this time, but I could check the report in two or three days to see if that changed.  He mentioned that the insurance companies could and would work it out.  In parting he did tell me that the woman who hit me was driving with a revoked license, so she’d be getting a ticket for that, which was ultimately in my favor.  I thanked him for his time and apologized for the inconvenience to him — I have a lot of respect for police, they don’t get paid enough, and they deal with everyone on the worst possible days of their lives, it’s a tough job and I respect the people who chose it as a profession.

That was it… I was free to go. Now here’s the really strange thing.  You know that sinking feeling you get when you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror?  Or the blue and red lights in NJ and just the red lights in NY?  Or the sinking stomach feeling when you get in an accident or something really bad happens?  I didn’t get that at all.  I was completely apathetic to the direct consequences of the events of this afternoon.