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The Computer Is Fixed, I Need Some Work

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
So. So the computer is fixed, and by fixed, I mean I have half of a new computer, half of an old one, and by some miracle, it works. For now. Let's not dwell on it, I'm not.

I have to backtrack a bit to get to where I was when the computer died. I was having a fine time, taking the scooter out, seeing things, and Typhoon 14 was on it's way over to us. It hit overnight, the wind rattling the windows and doors, making the house shake and keeping me up at night. The next day was really clear, and after work I scootered out to Nagashima, and off in the distance was the receding storm. Good bye and good riddance.

The day stayed crystal clear and cool, and stayed that way for the evening. I recruited Cory, and we went back up the mountain (I am informed that Shimpo-san is one name, but the majority of the people call it Kannomine). It was a gorgeous sunset, and if you compare it with the last sunset pictures from the mountain, you can see how much clearer it was.

That night, my computer broke. I nearly had a heart attack, and then decided that all was not lost and planned a trip to Hiroshima to get some new computer parts. Cory offered to come along (Megan was resting because she is pregnant!) and so we went. It was a hot, busy, expensive day, but ultimately I ended up getting the right parts to make a computer that works, and so it was worth the effort and money. At the bus station getting ready to come home, I took this picture of a woman waiting for a different bus. It's rare, but some of the people from the small towns still wear their traditional clothes for trips into the city. I took the picture surreptitiously, so it's a little crooked.

The next day was Osaki Junior High School Sports Day. I was conscripted as a helper, spotter, and contestant in the "throw the beanbag into the basket that some kid is holding while some other people also try to throw their beanbags into other baskets" competition, and the 800 meter race. I don't remember how many baskets I got, and I came in a respectable third in the 800 meter.

Part of sports day is very militaristic and involves all kinds of marching and parading. I was sitting with the town officials under a tent for this, and I felt like I was examining troops. After the students in their white outfits leave, the come back and march by the stands in their sports team uniforms, while the parents clap and the principals and officials stand at attention. One of the teachers asked me what sports days are like at American schools, and I couldn't really imagine this ever flying back home.

It's a funny contrast. After the marching and the flags and the ceremony, you've got events like this: The 100 meter basketball-in-frying-pan relay, Jackson 5 and O-Zone blaring on the sound system.

So then, on the way home from sports day I was enjoying the wind in my face, taking the long way home, scootering around, and I come around a turn and all of a sudden two lanes are one lane, the left lane I was riding in was a shoulder, and that shoulder was covered in a good half inch of sand. I've put it back together but I don't really remember trying to tighten my turn to get out of the shoulder, my scooter slipping, throwing me off, flipping upside down into a concrete ditch on the side of the road, and dumping my bag into the water. I have occasional flashes of memory of hitting the road with my hands, then my knees, then flipping myself onto my back and then landing in the ditch ahead of my scooter. The first memory i have is the feeling of water rushing past my head and back as I slid down the ditch in a perfect reverse luge, sliding about 15 feet.

I jumped up and looked around but it was Sunday and the road was empty. I pulled my bag out of the water, checked my self for anything broken, found nothing, but a lot of blood on my hands and legs, and tried to pull my scooter out of the ditch. It was upside down, the engine sputtering out, and I just bent over and grabbed the handlebars. It took two tries but I yanked it out and flipped it right side up in one big heave. When I got home and told this story to Cory and Megan, they told me a scooter weighs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds, so I was pretty juiced up on adrenaline at this point. I got on the scooter, it miraculously started, I put on my helmet and went home. I looked about like this:

Cory told me to get in the shower and I agreed, but after I took my shoes and one sock off, I realized I needed a picture. You can't see my knees or elbows, which is too bad, but you can see my palm (mostly missing) and my shin (still bleeding today, three days later). My back is covered in mud and ditch slime, and my hands and legs are vibrating with adrenaline. I took a shower and we went to the hospital.

After the shower and hospital.

Now I'm recovering, I've been bandaging myself every morning, and today I just bandaged my shin and palm. Everything else is healing up, they are basically really bad skinned knees and elbows. My knees are sore and stiff and hurt when I bend them, but I'm healing up ok. My scooter has a bent front fork, a cracked but functional right signal, and an overwhelming will to live. I have to talk to my supervisor, but the list of things I have to tell him is getting prohibitively large.

Sunday night Mori happened to stop by, and he and I talked about stupid scooters, crashes, and I showed him Grand Theft Auto which doesn't exist here in any form. He was supremely impressed, telling me that Japanese video games are really pretty weak and boring. I disagreed. I told him I was taking the day off the next day to recover and he said he'd take me out to lunch (I took him out to dinner after night fishing). He came over after I got back from the doctor, and we went to Alpha, a little place in town. He brought a folder with him, and in the folder was an e-mail he had received from an Australian friend that he was having trouble understanding (seriously, the whole thing was either in the most ghetto of ghetto slang, or in text message short hand. I deciphered it with difficulty) and plans for a Skate Park. He wants to get funding from the town to build a real skate park here, and he wanted to show me the plans. He's going to the town meeting this month with his father, who sits on the town council. Very exciting times.

I haven't carried my camera with me, nor have I gone out for a scooter ride since my crash. I will soon, I just need to get my bandages off before I tempt fate again.

I have requests for pictures of food, and pictures of children - both are rather difficult, as I don't bring my camera to school or to restaurants. I'll see what I can do but it might be a little bit.