A Rozy View on Life

I am John Rozelle, hear me ROAR like a dinosaur!

Monday, August 28, 2006

I Got Digglered

So here’s the story.
My new roommate Andy and I decided that we should partake in some men’s time while at Copper Mountain. Earlier in the day we had noticed a contraption that intrigued our inclinations toward outdoor adventures. It was a mountain scooter called a Diggler.

The fantasy realm of combining scootering with mountain-biking is no longer merely a fantasy. It is a reality, perhaps too much of a reality for some of us.

Downhill on a Diggler

There were many warning signs to the effect of “This can be really dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing,” “Danger,” “People have died here,” etc. Clearly these signs were not for me, but for the other people who didn’t know what they were doing.
After our first run down the mountain, Andy and I both felt more comfortable on Digglers. We decided to take one more run down the mountain in order to appreciate our newly developed abilities. I found that the best way to display these recently sharpened skills was on the terrain park. The terrain park consisted of one large hill/jump leading to a series of three smaller jumps. Following my initial trial of this terrain park, I decided I was ready to get enough speed off the first hill in order to catch some air off the first small jump.

I think this is a picture of same terrain park in the winter, but if not-it is very similar. The largest jump is in the back.

I went up the trail far enough to gain enough speed to get over the first hill with sufficient speed to launch me off the first small jump. As I proceeded over the first hill, I encountered a problem. Andy, my roommate, also realized there was a problem when my Diggler went over the first small jump without me. The problem was that as I went over the first and largest jump, it turned out that I had gained enough speed to catch some pretty decent air.

This is what taking a jump on a Diggler is supposed to look like. Pretty sure I didn't look like this at all.

To my surprise, I found myself flying about 10 feet in the air. As this is not a customary happening for me, I felt slightly out of my element. To add to my dilemma, at some point my Diggler and I separated paths mid flight.
As far as I can tell (based of remaining evidence), I resorted back to an infantile state of the fetal position in hopes of providing some sort of reassurance before my inevitable collision with the earth. Turns out Mother Nature doesn’t like it when you try to defy her rules.
I met the earth with a loud “BAM,” which was accompanied with a certain amount of physical pain. At this point I experienced a certain amount of psychological pain at the realization that Andy (my not so small roommate) was coming behind me on his Diggler. I knew that my physical pain would grow exponentially were he to come over the hill and land on me. I quickly stood up, ran about 4 steps, then fell back to my comforting fetal position.
Having seen my Diggler take the second jump without me, Andy quickly but cautiously came to my vicinity. He flagged down the medics, which appeared to be taking their sweet time. Directly after having my head smashed into the earth, the medics proceeded to ask me a slew of personal questions - name, address, phone number, what hurt, what happened, etc. Frankly, I just wanted a little time to enjoy my fetal curl, and try to let my brain and body figure out what just happened. No such luck.
It turns out I had been able to protect the entire left side of my body by landing on my right side. Oh, and my head and face also helped break the fall. The collision literally knocked the snot out of me, which I still find amusing. My chin was cut and bleeding and my right side received some scrapes. After receiving some antiseptic spray and a band-aid, then waiting for about 15 minutes, we were driven down the mountain (about a 20 minute ride). Throughout this time, yet again another stranger (the driver) tried to conversate with me as I battled nausea.
Skipping ahead….

At the hospital
We get to the hospital and after the mandatory paper work that asks if I want communion or have any final rights, am directed to a hospital bed. Fast-forwarding through my hospital stay, my chin wound was cleaned in order to be anesthetized for the needed stitches. The doctor inserted a large needle into my chin and slowly injected anesthetic as he moved the needle along. The needle point came to my laceration, at which point anesthetic leaked through my wound. He proceeded through my wound, injecting more anesthetic. He even went so far that the needle poked out of the other side of my face and squirted anesthetic all over the floor.

Check out the sweet blue paper shorts I scored from the hospital

The doctor finished, until Andy mentioned the other cut near my lip. The doctor recognized his mistake and remedied it by injecting more anesthetic near my lip. Did I mention that the insertion of anesthetic was the most painful part of this journey? It was. Well, besides the blister I have on my left thumb from the handlebar.
So, then I went to get an x-ray to see if I had broken any ribs. As I am walking down the hall I hear, “John! John!” Turns out it was a good friend of mine.
He had encountered a similar accident on his road bike. His front tire blew while taking a corner and sent him flying. He encountered some nasty road rash on his shoulder and jacked up his hand pretty bad. It was ok though, he was wearing full body spandex.
So, we got to have hospital rooms right next to each other. It was a special time.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

FIRE (From the Archives)

It seemed to be a normal day. I was handing out English Workshop fliers with Jason and Nate (part of the summer team here in Croatia for 5 weeks) in front of the “Pomorski” faculty. At one point, the trash dumpster directly behind us began to smoke. From our deduction, we determined that a Croatian had thrown a still lit cigarette butt in the dumpster and had set some trash on fire. It was not really a “fire,” but was causing some light smoke to come from it trash receptacle.
We continued to pass out fliers as the dumpster smoked, assuming that at any moment the smoke would cease. After about 10 minutes of this, we decided that perhaps closing the dumpster lid would decrease oxygen intake to the “fire” and therefore cause the “fire” to diminish. Sounded like good logic to me.

Allow me to note that many Croatians (students and civilians) passed by, noting the smoke and carrying on with their normal routine. I felt that if anyone should attempt to remedy the situation, it should be a national. It seemed that it would be slightly odd for an American to enter the college faculty, asking in English, “Could I get a bucket of water, the trash can is smoking.”
After about another 5-10 minutes of the dumpster being closed and smoke continuing to seep out of the dumpster cracks, we decided that the contents of the dumpster may be becoming too hot and that a better plan of action would now be to open the dumpster to let it cool off. Upon opening the dumpster a literal plethora of smoke billowed from the trash can, and this process continued for much longer that we had anticipated.

After the initial billowage, which we expected to be the only release of smoke, smoke continued to pour out far beyond what our wildest imaginations could conceive.
I decided at this point, I should run up to my apartment (which was near), and get a pot of water to pour on the smoldering smoke heap. Once I got to my apartment, as I filled the pot, I looked out of my apartment to see that the billowing smoke heap had now turned into a raging inferno in the dumpster. Flames shot out of the can, two feet above its lid. My mission to put out this fire became much more important that I previously thought. I ran down the 3 flights of stairs, spilling water out of my measly pot, optimistically thinking one little pot of water would actually make a difference in this now raging dumpster blaze.
As I exited my apartment, the intersecting street was now filled with smoke, evidence that this fire was now out of control. A police car drove past the fire, all four members viewing the smoky spectacle. “Oh relief, the help I need to fight this fire,” I thought to myself. Upon this thought, the police continued to drive by, and I realized it was up to me to combat the forces of dumpster conflagration that raged nearby.
I ran to the dumpster as onlookers watched, and strategically poured my little pot of water on the fire. Surprisingly, my little pot put the flames out, at which I felt great satisfaction. “I’d better go fill up another pot just to make sure,” I thought to myself.
I again went to my apartment, and as I looked out my window, I saw that my previous dousing only temporarily provided a solution to the fire which now raged with more intensity than before. The fire had even burned a hole in the thick plastic dumpster, and flames exuded from this newly created opening. My solo effort to put out this fire not only became more important, but also more urgent. I ran down the stairs, spilling more water from my little pot than before, and exited my apartment to an even more smoke filled street than previously. I ran to the dumpster, now a blaze of glory, flames shooting out the top and from the hole.
As I approached the dumpster, I heard the sound of a siren. Yes, the firemen were now near. I stepped back to allow the professionals to do their work, at which time they dispensed a stream of water from their fire hose.

After a minute or two of trash can dousing, these firemen’s job was complete. Or so they thought.

I was the one who started this firefighting effort, and I would be the one to end it. I stood there with a still unused pot of water, as three firemen stood around the dumpster with their job complete. Nate dared me to walk up the dumpster, and nonchalantly pour the final pot of water on the dumpster, as if their efforts had been unsuccessful. Desiring to finish the job I started, I calmly walked over to the dumpster, and as I began the dumpster dousing, I ended it. Thanks for your efforts firemen, but I really had the situation under control.

Your Volunteer Fire-Fighter,

Johnny Hrvatski