March 21, 2010

What hard hats are for ...

So, anyway, a few days ago I was out on my lot pursuing my latest involuntary hobby: cleaning up storm damaged trees. This is the main thing slowing progress on the darkroom.  Well, and the weather.  Spring will be here any week now.  But, I digress ...

We have several dozen ash junipers on our little acre, and a number of them did not do well in the heavy snow we had last month. Little by little, I’m getting them cleaned up.

I have both a gas chain saw, and a small electric one that is on a pole – for reaching small limbs off the ground. I know how to use them. I do not work on ladders, I leave that to the pros. In fact, this incident happened while I was standing flat on the ground, cutting at about waist high. I was not, repeat, not, standing under anything.

Something – and I still do not know what – hit me on top of the head. It wasn’t that heavy, did not knock me out or even hurt much. However, I was aware that I had been cut. I stopped the chain on the saw and set the saw down and started walking up to the house when the blood started pouring down my safety glasses. Yes, I was wearing safety glasses, gloves and hearing protectors, but not a hard hat. I had no idea that a scalp wound would bleed so much.

I walked calmly (yes, calmly) back to the saw and shut the motor off, then up to the house and yelled the wife’s name. She (fortunately) came right out and did a really good “Oh my God!” We got the bleeding stopped quickly enough but she insisted I go to the emergency room and I could not convince her to take a picture of me before we left. Blood was dripping everywhere. I bet I looked cool.

Anyway, I now have two staples in the top of my head right where I don’t have near enough hair to cover them up. They come out Wednesday. No concussion, no bruising, just a nasty cut that could have been prevented with a $5 hard hat. I now own one. I’ve seen where the real hard hat guys usually have their names stenciled on theirs. You know, something appropriate like “Randy” or “JD”. I think I’ll stencil “Dumbass” on mine.

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