painless foot branding
Thursday, June 19 2008
I woke up this morning feeling weak and listless. The back of my mouth had the unpleasant feeling one gets before a head cold, and the rest of my gastrointestinal tract all the way out the other end was nagging uncomfortable. I was in the woods walking the dogs and found myself needing to make like the pope on two occasions. It's a good thing the forest is well-stocked with large slabs of bluestone suitable for keeping ones excrement forever separate from ones dogs.
Throughout the day my health worsened, but I rallied at one point and to fix a client's laptop power supply. This involved a certain amount of soldering. I often lay my hot soldering iron on the steps leading up to the laboratory deck, since that place is a little out of the way and it's an easy place to make sure the hot parts aren't touching anything that could catch on fire. This isn't to say I never need to stand on the steps when I'm soldering; I also use the steps as a way to reach an array of tools and soldering/plumbing supplies hanging from nails on one side of the laboratory window. Today I found out just how tough the soles of my feet have become after being almost exclusively barefoot since March. I was standing there on the steps reaching for something when I realized I was standing on something. I could hear a hissing sound and then could smell a fragrance not unlike that of meat on a summer barbecue. At that point I stepped away, and, looking down, could see that my left foot was smoking. I picked up that foot to examine it closely and saw the four inch long brownish silhouette of the soldering iron branded into my sole. By this point my foot hurt a little, but it wasn't even so bad that I needed to run cold water on it. Over the next several hours the pain vanished and the only lasting effect beyond that was a noticeable loss of elasticity. No blisters developed, indicating that there was enough insulation provided by dead skin for my living parts to avoid second degree burns.
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