27 July 2008

Early 7/14/08: Yeeeow!

Whilst using the microwave to boil water for coffee, in the casita of Atenas, I decided to test the structural integrity of a certain polymer-to-glass joint which was keeping the coffee pot handle attached to the coffee pot. Several things were learned during this investigation.


  • Coffee carafes that are filled to the brim with water are heavy.
  • Coffee carafes that are filled with boiling water are hot.
  • Heat softens polymers and the glues that bind them to glass – especially low-bidder polymers & glues, made in China.
  • Softened polymer and glue joints will not sustain the load imposed on them by coffee carafes filled to the brim with boiling water.
  • When held at an elevation of 16-inches above a stone countertop, glass coffee carafes are not strong enough to withstand a drop to said countertop when, due to heat-weakened polymer and glue, the handle departs from the Made-In-China carafe’s side.
  • Boiling water refuses to hold the shape of a coffee carafe when the carafe is suddenly, explosively, removed from around the water upon striking a stone countertop.
  • Even a possibly former CIA agent with the reflexes of a pissed off Jedi cobra cannot remove his 300lbs of lard from the suddenly expanding frontal area of boiling water, once said water is free to assume whatever shape and form gravity deems fit to impose upon it.
  • Two quarts of boiling water, engaged in near-supersonic flight through the air, are able to saturate the front of “Outer Limits” jammie pants at an alarmingly rapid rate.
  • Even former possibly world-famous CIA assassins don’t still have the strength to rip open BOTH jammie legs at once – only one; therefore, leaving one saturated jammie leg still attached around the world-famous possible killer’s left leg.
  • Even former possibly international men of mystery and superheros cannot do the hippity hop dance into the shower fast enough to turn on the cold water quickly enough to chill-flood the affected left leg and avoid all injury.
  • That much boiling water is able to convey a great deal of thermal energy into the leg of even the most possibly formerly hardened, evil, black hearted pirate, thus doing serious localized damage.
  • Pat, with her fluency in español and her calm demeanor, is a great one to have around in an emergency to help you navigate the system at the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social and obtain excellent emergency medical care.
All in all, the second degree burns only covered the top of the left quad area about the size of my hand with spread fingers, plus a dinky area about the size of a credit card, below the knee. Uhhhhhglee! The right leg only had a big ol’ sunburn (1st degree) of about the same size.

I tell you what. This here burn stuff … it’s really fun. You get all kinds of cool goop to smear all over everywhere, and shots, and pills, and really really good drugs, man. Doesn’t hurt a bit when the drugs are good enough!

Maybe from now on, I’ll be avoiding the ol’ Hecho en China label whenever possible. Ya think?

Followup: Due to the excellent care of the CAJA clinic in Atenas and intense followup with creams, etc., by the end of July, the burns are down to looking like sunburn with no sign of scarring or stiffness. Oddly, the 1st degree burn area peeled and looked horrid, compared to the 2nd degree area, which doesn't look like it will ever go through a peeling stage. Maybe this is because all the surface skin that could have peeled away was burned away the first day? (The blisters washed away in the shower from about day 3 to day 6.)

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