Ritual Branding Goes Wrong

A friend of mine, we’ll call him “Mark”, was talking to a buddy of his that’s an experienced modification artist about DIY branding techniques. They got talking about incense cone branding, like the dots you see on monks’ heads when they let them burn all the way down until they hit the flesh. Since Mark was looking for a ritual branding that he could do himself at home, it seemed perfect, but he neglected to mention that he was planning on doing this brand over his toe knuckle.

When you do this type of branding over flesh, you burn not just the surface skin layers required to make the scar, but you also damage some of the subcutaneous tissue. When that’s bone or fat, the would is not insignificant, but it doesn’t create “collateral damage”. However, when you do it over an area with ligaments and tendons and functional mechanics, those can be severely damaged, as Mark discovered.

He did the brand on the 24th of June, 2010. By the 26th, it was very sore, so he went to his doctor telling him that it was an accidental injury (I’ll save you the specifics of the excuse). There was no feeling over the surface of the burn, and the doctor was shocked to say the least. Here’s how it looked:

It gets much worse, and the gory pictures continue after the break.



Today’s trip to the doctor went well and teaches an important lesson about how important it is to fulfill the duties of parenting to ensure the health of your child. Since none of the tests so far have shown any conclusive problems, and in fact, show everything to be “normal”, the only explanation that the doctors have is that it’s a combination of lack of exercise — too much time in front of the TV and too little time at the park — and unhealthy food (frozen TV dinners and greasy cafeteria junk) and dietary habits (like eating too close to bed time and unhealthy snacks). I can’t control the things that happen when my daughter is in the States, but here we eat very healthy food together on an appropriate schedule, and spend plenty of times at the park (which unfortunately she doesn’t get to do in the States, and for some deranged reason her school has all but eliminated physical activity), so I’m quite hopeful that at least while she’s here her health will be remain solid, and hopefully it’s a valuable lesson learned. It’s just unfortunate that so much school was missed and so much money was spent over something that seems to be so easy to fix with decent food and activity… After all, we are hunter gatherers “designed” to collect our plant food after hours of foraging, and our lean meat after as much as days of stalking our wild prey.

Anyway, in more fun news, after yesterday building a smaller sand castle over a short log, today we spent an hour or so moving a ton of dirt and building a monstrous sand castle over top of a boulder that sits in the playground. First we covered the whole thing with a thick layer of sand, and then started building up castles on the “mountain”.

Nonetheless, I’m quite certain that the megacastle will be gone the next time we go to the park. It’s amazing how quickly things are destroyed the instant you aren’t actively protecting them. Even when you actually are sitting and working on a sandcastle, it’s shockingly common for a kid to come over and stomp on it, with their parent standing right next to them. Oh, they might say “oh, don’t wreck that girl’s castle” softly to their so-called precious snowflake, but they won’t raise their voice let alone lift a finger to teach their kid some manners. If their child wants to break the stuff that some other child is working on, of course they should!!! Well, perhaps when they kick at our giant castle, they will at least learn a lesson when they stub their precious toes on a boulder. Sort of like building a snowman over a fire hydrant in the hope that some jackass will smash into it with their car!

Tomorrow I’ve got a tattoo appointment, which was originally made in the hope that it would be done before my daughter got back, but she enjoys tagging along so it’s not too bad (long-time readers will recall that she got to tattoo me once there)… We’ll be very close to done I hope at that point, and I’ll post some updated photos.

CBR file (comic book archive) maintenance tool updated

I’ve been a little negligent on posting updates to this code even though I have been maintaining it.

Updates include:
1.00 Initial Public release
1.01 Added training function to “Sort to Subs” function so that it learns possible names from your existing directory tree
1.02 Convert’s + to space when cleaning filenames, expanded URL encoding issues
1.03 Fixed major bug in renumbering function causing filenames including text like “this of that” to be trashed into “this of 0″ YIKES! Important upgrade!
1.04 Group detector now ignores numbers (which generally means dates)
1.05 Undo files now get written to zencbr-undo.bat (for clean, renumber, and groups)
1.05.1 Bugfix (undo file was only writing the header!), and a silly animation of the title text

Edit: This is a little embarrassing, but 18 hours after posting this I realized that the undo files weren’t writing properly. That’s been fixed now.

The initial blog post — ZenCBR – Comic Book Archive Maintenance Utility — has been updated with the latest download links for the executable, training files, and for the newest version of the source code as well since this is FOSS.

Suspension-Themed Rings Posted! Woo woo!

Had trouble sleeping because of the heat (the industrial furnace in our building is baking me), but today was a great day, we got up and played with Lego, Caitlin and Nefarious went to the mall to go shoe shopping, had a great sloppy-joe lunch, watched Men In Black, went to the park where among other things like feeding the emus and sand castle building, we crashed a birthday party and got free cake and loot bag, and I even managed to squeeze in a little time on Facebook sharing great mod photos, did a little programming (more on that later), and some work time completing the suspension rings.

I’m quite happy with how the rings turned out and I’ve priced them really inexpensively as well. I may even shoot myself in the foot and send some out as gifts, but until then, here are the two store links — suspension ring using a Mustad-style traditional hook or the one that people were nerdy for, the suspension ring using a Gilson safety hook! Please do feel free to pass this on to people who you think will be interested.

Boy Meets Priest Perhaps

Because of my central apnea I have somewhat of an aversion to sleep these days, and I find myself trying to do as little as possible on account of the reality that one of these days I may not wake up. I don’t particularly relish the idea of dying in my sleep, I’d rather keep going as long as I can and when I’m sick of it all jumping in a woodchipper and spraying my guys onto a giant canvas in a charade of modern art or something. So last night when I awoke from a brief nap at maybe three or four in the morning I went for a walk — especially with the farcical heat, I very much love the city late at night, long after all but the least law abiding bars have closed. I walked past the rather odd looking Taras H. Shevchenko Museum of Ukranian Canadian art and noticed this strange little statue in the window.

I do not particularly want to know if he is scared for his life or preparing to be… shall we say… amorous? Or worse, both?

Speaking of apnea, I have come to hate breathing. I never knew what a horrible feeling it was until I starting losing the ability to detect carbon dioxide building up in my blood (or whatever the mechanism that causes my apnea is). Every moment narrowly escaping suffocation, feeling death creeping closer and gasping to escape it. But when I forget, when I don’t know to breathe, what a sense of tranquility there is not having that need. Knowing that you don’t have to fight for survival over and over and over again without reprise is like some Promethean torment. I dread gaining similar awareness of my heartbeat, that marathon that never ends.