Was sitting here planning my July 4th festivities, and remembered that one of my traditions for years was calling my best friend from active duty, Donald Geoffrey Wood. We talked a couple times a year, but we always talked on the 4th. He’s dead now, a victim of his own insane driving (he could do things behind the wheel I have never seen- a day on the autobahn with him in a BMW Alpina changed my life, and by changed, I mean shortened it by a couple years) and died in a car wreck at what I am sure were insane speeds, but I miss him and think about him all the time. Here we are, 20 years old, standing in some miserable piece of shit place in Kuwait:
When we got out of that shithole we went on leave together for a month long insane Hunter S. Thompson like journey that included a week and a half in New Orleans. But that is a story I will never, ever put into print.
You were my brother, Geoff. Love you.
Here’s another pic, off duty circa 1990:
Ahh, pastel Polo shirts.
I also spent a week in New Orleans that the NSA will never know about.
Are you the one on the left?
You’re such a mensch, Cole. Even if you never reply to my emails, I smooch you anyway.
Sorry that you lost your friend. That sucks.
Still, enjoy the holiday! Life is for the living.
Great photo. That trip on the Autobahn sounds excellent. Sorry his driving ended up costing him in the end.
What are your plans for the 4th? Me, I have no plans.
Damn, that’s a tough rite of passage. Sorry about your buddy, would have been great to have had him at your six into middle-agehood. We can all learn from our friends’ grievous errors, I’m certain they’d like us to at least “not do that” in their honor.
Here’s my latest hero. You go, Annie!
Just glad your friend didn’t take out a school bus or an ambulance on the way out.
Listening to Procol Harum’s first album (CD version with tons of extra songs) and washing a pile of dishes that has been sitting on the counter for far too long. No exciting plans for the fourth. I have to work on friday, but it will be nice because 3/4 of the office will be gone.
A comic named Chris McGuire has a bit about an Uncle on the Fourth of July putting a firework in his mouth, switching a beer from one hand to another in order to grab the lighter from his pocket, lighting the firework in his mouth and then throwing the beer.
Don’t get hurt this Fourth of July.
Also watch the piece about David McCullough and his love of U.S. History on 60 Minutes that aired tonight if you can.
@schrodinger’s cat: I’m the one with the name tag that says “Cole.”
I’m holding the water bottle and thermometer pegged at 120. Geoff is the tall one- he was 6’3″ and I was 6′.5-1″
Flying Squirrel Girl
I have a pretty serious social anxiety problem; I post and run sometimes here, because I very much want to be a part of this community but fear the responses. Consequently I don’t know anything in particular that’s going on here (Houston) so will probably test out a few new recipes instead.
Ted & Hellen
That’s a purty mouth you got there, John.
You are a book of secrets, John Cole.
The pic is apropos, considering that it just hit a hundred and fucking seven the other day here in H-Town, and today the goddamn air conditioner went tits up! Argh!
RIP to your friend, Cole, but you MUST write about your little N’awlins debauchery at some point. It’s what he would have wanted, you know.
Great picture. Your buddy has a grin that says let the good times roll. The worst part of aging is slowly losing friends and family to the inevitable. Enjoy the holiday. You know Geoff would raise hell if you didn’t.
Weather Underground better be f#cking with us, because they’re saying 115 and cloudy for Tuesday. I’m voting for NOAA and 111.
Did see 114 going through the burbs today, so there’s that.
What temperature does it say? It looks like 130.
I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll pour a libation for your friend and think of the two of you, forever young, forever on your road trip.
@efgoldman: It was before electronic space phones or even beepers!
Sorry. Nice tribute.
Sorry for your loss, I lost my best college/road trip buddy at 42, drank himself to death.
I’m playing a gig on the fourth with our formerly trio now duo and having to switch from dobro to bass and my fingers are not happy. I lost my calluses playing with the steel instead of fretting.
Geoff sounds like he was a great friend, and I’m sure he’d be glad to know you’re still thinking of him fondly.
I’m sure he would want you get get the whole New Orleans escapade off your chest, though. You’ll feel….free.
I was thinking of a friend of mine today who died in a car wreck when we were freshmen in high school. Years later, her sister was murdered while walking down the street, the last victim of a famous serial killer here in Phoenix. I don’t have that whole are life thing settled in my mind, but I hope for better things for them both.
You’ve got a lot of great stories, John. You ever thought of writing a book?
Where are you, again? I’m in the Burbank/Glendale/Eagle Rock area and we got some unexpected clouds today that brought the temperature down, and now they’re predicting 90s next week instead of 100s.
@John Cole: Hard to read the name tag in that photo. You look fresh faced but ornery. To the good times that the two of you had!
Sac. We’re edging into record-breaking territory, which I’d rather read about than experience. Oddly, Redding isn’t any hotter than here, which is like weather cats and dogs, sleeping together. They’re usually good for another ten degrees.
Wonder whether it was before or after the ammo dump ‘sploded?
Doing soldiery things is hard enough; doing it in the stinking desert is over the top.
@trollhattan: So, I go to your linky and read about the Brewer of the Year which is ofcourse way cool but I notice another story in the SacBee
Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson who happens to be married to Michelle Rhee just happened to get a nice “behest” from Walmart and the Waltons. And, oh yeah, KJ is a Dem.
According to SCOTUSBlog, Justice Kennedy (who as Circuit Justice hears emergency appeals from the Ninth Circuit) denied the Prop 8 proponents motion to order the Ninth to reinstate the stay, so yes, Cole, if you’re still determined to become randomly gay-married, you can get on that airplane tomorrow and fly to SFO.
@Flying Squirrel Girl: FSG, Don’t be afraid, Slowly dip in like it’s a cold swimming pool. No life guards, but no sharks either. . . I’m new also. Enjoy a fun Houston weekend and relax.
Get back to me after the vote on the amendments to the rules of big-box stores. If you can’t take people’s money, put it to good use in the community, and then fuck them over, you’re not much of a politician.
@Flying Squirrel Girl: Houston is a great place for you. Lots of people and different cultures, food and music. But without all the bullshit attitude and bustle New Yorkers seem to have. Nobody expects you to have the routine down pat every time you leave the house.
You can dip your toe in just about anything you like and find people who are pretty open and welcoming. Or you can keep buttoned up and go about your business without much more than a nod or a, “How’s it going?” acknowledgement.
Nice post, JC. I have a friend I grew up with and went through a lot of shit with who got a brain tumor and died at 25. Fucking terrible. I still miss him after 20 years and toast him amply on his birthday every June 1.
The funniest thing I’ve heard from “Republican strategists” is they’re going to try to frame Hillary Clinon as “too old” and representing “old ideas.” That’s just fucking hilarious.
Robert Samuelson wants to repeal the internet.
18 firefighters killed fighting the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona. Terrible.
Brother Machine Gun of Desirable Mindfulness (fka AWS)
@Southern Beale: you should scroll down the front page a bit before you post your link to your own blog. We’ve already discussed this.
@Southern Beale: I skimmed that OpEd; it should be Exhibit A on why some people should NOT write about tech.
@? Martin: Awful. A friend of mine was a firefighter and worked wildfires for awhile. Hard, hard work.
To those that have gone on to the next plane of existence, I extend a high cheer of hope and affection. L’chaim!
This is an odd question, I know, but have anyone of you ever burned yourself before? Like about a dime sized area? I grabbed my cast iron pan out of the oven with a slightly damp potholder and got a nice wound out of it. How long do burns take to heal?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@? Martin: I try to keep my pet peeves in their cages, but today I was watching MHP and the subject of the environment and climate change came up, and the only case in point anyone could come up with was “Hurricane Sandy”. Or, you know, the fact that a good chunk of the non-East Coast country is on fire. Again.
@ruemara: Depends on the person and the location and severity of the burn. Cool it with cool running water or ice packs if it’s a first or small second degree burn. I’ve use aloe vera to cool and promote healing for those minor burns too.
For a minor burn, I’d expect about the same amount of time as healing a minor cut–maybe a week for the worst of it, then longer for any other healing and scarring.
@ruemara: First: OUCH!!!
Second: did you put ice on it right away? A burn can take anywhere from a few days to a week to heal depending on how deep it went into the skin and the severity. There are several good burn lotions that will help.
@Violet: Or wot you said. :)
@ruemara: Heh, burns….
Well, first second or third degree? Is it just red? Or did it blister? Or did it turn black?
A first degree burn takes a few days to a week. Put some ice on it. A second degree, with blistering will take 2 weeks to a month. That blister might just need to be lanced, and your body will not reject the tissue. A bad 2nd degree and that skin will come off. That takes some time to fully heal. 3rd degree takes months. The skin has necrotized and it’s a long process to regrow that skin.
I’ve had all 3 kinds. The pain goes away pretty quickly for the first two – a day or so. If you lose the skin, that’ll hurt for a few days until the nerves can get covered up. It’ll be very sensitive. If you can keep the elements off of it – it’s not horrible, but it sure is a pain in the ass to contend with. I got a 3rd degree burn on my thumb and that was pretty miserable. Not easy to keep, well, everything including fast moving air off of your thumb.
I’m guessing it’s just a first or light 2nd degree. Ice it, take some advil, put some vit D on it once the pain starts to wane. No biggie.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: When Florida caught on fire, that was a tell. It rains in Florida. A lot.
Insane (clinically so) friend (dead now, but not from the incident in this anecdote) drove from PA to MD to buy fireworks for 4th of July.
Filled up the back seat of his car with scads of ’em.
Tossed a ciggie butt out the window while on the interstate, driving back…
Yes, the wind blew the butt back into the car, where it lodged somewhere in the back seat and all the fireworks went off.
End of that car.
Yeah, about that. Is there a way that the embiggened versions of the in-line pictures could actually be bigger enough to make a difference? I found it almost impossible to read the (shadowed and/or covered by a strap) name tags on my 15" laptop.
Go ahead and tell me to DIAF so I don’t have to send this in an all-caps e-mail.
@Southern Beale: I can only imagine how many different versions of that same oped have been written in the past 150 about every new technical innovation. There is always a need to examine new technologies and how they are used to identify and minimize the downsides, but that chicken little shit from Samuelson doesn’t help in any way.
Silly. The strap-on Cole will choke you out with has a little magnifying glass on it so you can see his name in the photo. Bit of a catch-22 on that one.
I miss those two seasons where my team wasn’t the doormat and could actually beat the Pirates.
Put your hand in a bowl of cool (not cold or ice) water and leave it there until it stops hurting. This will probably take at least an hour, but it works much better than running water or ice (ice can actually damage the burned tissues because you end up with frostbite on top of the burn).
@ruemara: Spenco makes some pads that keep the burn area moist, for 1st and 2nd degree burns. Should help it heal faster. 3rd degree should be a trip to the ER, IMO.
Good god, that’s horrible. I can’t recall a bigger loss of firefighters since 9/11.
Western wildfire season is barely begun and we’ve already had some historically large ones. It generally continues until about November.
NO ICE. It damages the skin. Cool water only is the current recommendation.
The last time I got a burn doing something stupid (touched the burner right after turning the gas off) and gave myself a 2nd degree burn, I put my hand in a bowl of cool water and kept it there for an hour. Worked really well.
I do not trust him
Not one bit
Now that’s he’s a gen-you-wine (for saving our hoops team) hero I expect a run for higher office. Statewide or congress, I cannot guess, but he and Michelle have…plans. Watch your kids and your wallets.
Wal-Mart bucks, yeah.
I have to say, adolescent sullen Cole was quite adorbs.
But seriously, John, I’m very sorry for your loss.
@trollhattan: Don’t trust him. A number of the local pols are decent and a number are just a hairsbreadth away from being republicans. KJ fits that bill.
dance around in your bones
It sucks when a friend of yours dies. At least you are remembering him in a public and fond fashion. (I would REALLY like to hear the N’awlins story, HST style – whenever you are ready to share).
My mom and sister are arriving on the 4th of July from parts Southwest, then we are going to see my dad who had a stroke and can’t talk anymore. He’s in a care facility. Good times (not). I’m a bit stressed.
I’m trying real hard to let the stress thoughts float up and away – not much one can do about it anyway. Impermanence! It’s what’s for life!
@trollhattan: Can’t see KJ going anywhere super high in public office with that inappropriate behavior with a minor deal in Phoenix. And I heard there were rumors of another inappropriate behavior situation in Sacramento that was hushed up.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Give them a call when it is the East Coast. Otherwise, meh.
@trollhattan: I remember my brother in law screaming about the Obama administration taking care of California state parks when the state was in severe budget crises. The dumbshit was screeching about the Tenth Amendment, of course.
So I asked him whether he’d want the feds to do something about it if the state forests went unmanaged going into wild fire season and then southern California goes up in flames. Fucking dumb shit. The ONLY things that matter are lower taxes and smaller government. The idea that we might NEED government to perform some of the services it does never crossed his mind until I had to shut him up.
mike with a mic
I should call Walt, he was one of my best friends in the service and we lost track.