Archive for May, 2004
following my wreck on friday, i’m dealing with insurance. this sucks. with the jetta as the second car, we only carry liabilty insurance. usaa said that i had to deal with the truck’s insurance.
i got hit; on the way into work today, i was involved in a car accident.
drove celeste to school on my way to work and took the jetta down mission south from celeste’s school to 680 south. after washington, i followed mission (south) down to the 880 onramp. the metering lights were still on, though it was a pretty light traffic day; the backup didn’t start until after the overpass.
i had been waiting in the line of ~20 cars for probably about 45 seconds or so when i felt my headrest smack my skull. almost immediately, i smelled smoke and something pungent that i couldn’t place. it took me a second to realize that i’d been hit. i opened the drivers side door and the headache started. looking back, i saw the car behind me, a white honda hatchback (accord, maybe, bigger than a civic) and a ford f150 that had smashed into it. i held my head in my hands for about a minute, after i saw that both of the other drivers were out of their cars and standing. my head was throbbing… “oh, that’s the pungent smell, radiator fluid.”
i got out of the car and walked back on the curb to the area between my car and the honda. i didn’t even have a chance to look at the damage to my car before the enormity of the situation caught me by suprise. the honda was about 1/3 to 1/2 smaller than it was before the accident. the truck had radiator fluids gushing out of it and into the “back seat” of the honda and had basically lost everything between bumper and hood. the honda’s rear axle was inches behind the driver’s seat and clearly busted; the left rear wheel protruded from the car by about 5 inches. there was glass from the rear window of the honda everywhere. both front airbags in the honda had deployed and were still smoking “that’s the gunpowder smoke smell! got it.”
the driver of the honda commented that he was covered in radiator fluids. it had looked like spilled coffee to me, running from his right shoulder down onto his right knee. he was picking tempered glass out of his hair and clothing. his face looked like he’d been smacked by something big and flat. his left arm had been ripped up by the shoulder belt and blood was soaking into his shirt. i mentioned that he’d slammed his right kneecap into the steering column. based on the way i felt, i was pretty sure this guy’s head was killing him. he said that he saw it coming. he’d looked in the rear view mirror and had seen the truck coming at him. i pointed out a couple of pieces of glass he’d missed (in his ear and between his neck and shirt collar. “damn, this guy’s lucky he’s alive.”
i noticed that the bmw 5-series (m5, i think) in front of me had also stopped and the driver was milling about seemingly very concerned about his rear bumper. my front license plate had wrapped around his bumper and the impact had broken the lowest reflectors in his tail lights. he spent a fair amount of time saying things like, “this is going to be expensive” (referring to his car, not the overall incident.) i tried hard to show that i was annoyed with him. he didn’t really talk to me other than to say that he thought the truck’s insurance would pay for all of our cars’ damage. hardly what i was thinking about, at this point.
the driver of the truck just kept walking back and forth between the cab of his truck and the two of us and asking if everything was ok. (“does it look like everything is ok, dumbass?”) he was wearing a t-shirt from ‘e & b engineering’ or somesuch. his truck was equipped with the side toolboxes typical on construction vehicles, but didn’t have a company emblem on the doors or hood. trying not to pass judgement, i noted that he was stereotypically blue collar, in every detail i saw.
the rear end of the jetta was pretty messed up. it looks like everything from the back of the rear doors dropped by about 3 inches. the wheel wells are compressed and almost touch the tires. the trunk and rear doors don’t close. the bumper is split and moves with hand pressure.
someone had called the chp (driver of the truck, i think) and they showed up after about 15 minutes and talked us through a pretty standard accident routine. they made sure that none of us had broken anything, were seriously bleeding or had head/spinal injuries. the more senior (rank?) of the two cops suggested that we move the cars off to the right side of the road, where the on ramp forks (to gateway blvd and to 880). they ran a traffic break for a couple minutes and had the honda owner climb back into his car, something that he was clearly not eager to do, and “gun it in first… you’ll be able to drag the back half of the car” the honda broke free from the ford’s bumper remarkably easily. smoke everywhere and horrible horrible metal on asphalt noises almost stopped traffic on 880, while we limped down the shoulder in a freak-show twisted metal convoy. part-way down the ramp, resistance between honda and road became a bit much for the engine and one of the two cop cars pushed for the last 40 feet. the smell of burning rubber and plastic made me gag a little, when i got back out of the jetta.
45 minutes of statements, documentation swapping, and procedural stuff and the bmw and i drove off.
i’ve had a low-grade headache since.
grabbed a demo of newsgator. pretty spanky. it integrates with outlook and turns an arbitrary folder into the base for it’s “news” articles. the integration is really tight and it doesn’t hog much screen/toolbar real estate. i have not yet played with moveableposter, a newsgator plug-in that allows posting to moveable type blogs, but probably will in the next few days.
dell flatpanels appear to be really cheap, as refurbs. i may have to spring for a 20.1″
CPAN revealed that someone has already created a UPS screen scraper. it is outdated and it appears that the ups license doesn’t allow for this type of activity, anymore. shame.
got an almost immediate (7AM, this morning) reply from rangehoods.com claiming that ups lost my hood. i’m trying to decipher ‘origin scan’ on the ups tracking page. i don’t know if this means that they just printed the label or if it was actually billed and printed at a ups location. i would have expected a pickup scan; there isn’t one there.
i may have to write a www::screenscraper::ups perl module, if one doesn’t exist. (maybe they’ve published an api?)
bought 802.11 the oreilly wireless book. lots of the acronym’s defined, good diagrams, and overall a pretty useful-looking book.
i’m not sure, but it looks like our spanky new stainless steel range hood may be stuck on the rangehoods.com loading dock. the ups tracking info is less than helpful. sent email tonight and will be calling them tommorow to validate shipment.
dave said that he was afraid he’d wake up in the middle of the night and post something he’d be embarassed of. what can be more embarassing than:
i know how pagerank works. googleblogtag.