Thursday, January 18, 2007

Dihydrogen Monoxide Poisoning

In high school my sister, my cousins, and myself thought it would be fun to have a water drinking contest after my mom, a nurse, mentioned a then little known fact that it is possible to get intoxicated on water. Thinking that sounded rather funny we sat down and started drinking glass after glass around the circle going one for one with each other, the goal being to see who could drink the most. I felt like I was doing pretty well, but after countless glasses, I finally lost it, and vomited everything I had drunk. Not to be gross, but it was really strange, I hadn’t eaten anything and it tasted the same coming up as it did going down. One of my cousin’s ultimately one, in the end each of us ended up losing what we had drunk. It’s funny, but I’ve never drunk enough alcohol to vomit, but I can’t say the same about water.

I bring this up, because last week yet another case of water intoxication killed a person, this time to win a Nintendo Wii console. Two years ago a guy died in a similar frat hazing. In each case those that asked the person to drink the water got in a heap of trouble. This is so rare and as far from people’s minds as possible, that I have a hard time believing any fault can be placed on those that initiated the drinking. They could not have expected the outcome and the participants did not anticipate it either. In my opinion these were honest mistakes, not neglect.

So if I would have held my water that day many years ago and ultimately died, could/should have my mom been tried for child endangerment? Were these cases of reckless irresponsibility or good ideas gone wrong?


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Oh My Deer!

Recently I was visiting a couple friends when the phone of the guy's place we were at rang. It was a neighbor. "A Mercedes just hit a deer in front of my house, it is a big one. I talked to the cop and was able to get a permit to keep it. You want to come pick it up?"

I imagine I should have considered this a surprising turn of events for the evening, but I've come to expect this sort of thing when hanging out with these guys. "Sure! I'll be right over!" he said hurriedly as he hung up the phone. He was clearly more than just excited.

We jumped into a large conversion van and drove off into the night towards our next meal, which was patiently waiting for us in a nearby ditch. When we arrived at the site we had little trouble locating it. It was a fairly large buck, 13 point, and had to have weighed a couple hundred pounds. After a few proud pictures with our find (posing with a rifle to make it look official), the three of us dragged it across the street and somehow managed to throw it on a tarp in the back of the van. The body was still warm and but luckily it wasn't bleeding too bad.

The trip back to his place wasn't pretty. We had the windows open trying to rid the vehicle of the stench of roadkill dead deer, luckily it was a big van, had a lot of windows, and it was a short ride.

When we returned back we called another friend who knew something about cleaning deer and asked him to come over to give us a midnight lesson in gutting. It was amazing. I have some pictures I could post, but for our weaker stomached readers, I'll leave you with your lunch intact. I have never seen so much blood in my life. I have also never seen such skill at removing organs. I gained a lot of respect for those that clean deer that night. There is a real art to carving a deer to remove skin and organs. I once thought it was as simple as slicing down the belly and pulling everything out, but in order to make sure it all separates properly, there is an order and special cuts which must be done. You almost need to be a surgeon to do it properly.

When it was all said and done, there we had nearly 80 lbs. of meat and a big mess in my friend's front yard. Good thing he lives somewhat out of the city.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Update On The New Year

Happy New Year! It is now 2007 and I have been off of work for nearly a week and a half. It feels like it has been a month with all the activity. My girlfriend and I went to Iowa to see her Dad’s family, Nebraska to see her mom’s, Minnesota to see mine, and now it is back to work tomorrow. I had a great time making the rounds, but it was a lot of driving and a lot of family time on both of our sides, so we have talked about scaling back next year. This seems to be one area where I’m more talk than action. Perhaps that is something to make a New Years resolution about.

Following up on my previous posting on greed, let’s talk about the materialistic side of Christmas. Santa was good to me this year. My loot includes a gas grill, an electric chain saw (to handle all the fallen branches I regularly get in the yard), cash, books, gift certificates, and even a framed picture. I couldn’t ask for much more!

School starts up again in 2 weeks! Is it just me or does it feel like I’ve been going to school now forever? It has only been 1.5 years. With any luck, it will only be another 2. That means I’ll be over the hump after this semester, that is somewhat of a milestone right? I’ll relish the victories I can!