February 10, 2008 Boiling Water, Cold, and Being Stupid

Well, I'd meant to try this when it was really cold out again, since I have never done it. You take a cup of water, get it to boil, then throw it up in the air and watch it turn to vapor. I was out at my parent's the night before, when I remembered I wanted to do it. It was 15 out and we tried and it worked pretty well. I didn't have a camera and it was getting dark out anyway, so I didn't get any pictures of it then. But, some wheels started to roll on doing it the next day with the camera. So here I am, Sunday the 10th. I'm by myself doing it and having to use the cable release, or the timer.

I'm fairly camera shy, so before I went out, I put my hood up. That's the only reason I thought to put my hood up. Good thing I did. The lens I'm using here is at 10mm, giving about 107 degree view on my Digital Rebel. The top of the frame is almost straight up. Well, silly me throws the thing straight up, thinking that since it was 5 out today that it would just all evaporate. I look down as it is up in the air and a bunch of it lands on the back of my neck. It was very warm, but thank god I had my hood up. I was aware of the obvious risks of throwing boiling water around, but was mostly just thinking about my face and making sure to look away and close my eyes.

I couldn't just be happy with one cup, had to up things with dual cups! Timing things wasn't horribly easy. The light blinks, then it goes steady before the shutter fires. It's a 10 second timer, so I set things down where I want them, go to the camera, push the button and get back and try to time it right.

Why stop with a cup or two? How about a pan!

Well, that pan wasn't big enough, time to up it some more! I thought screw it, I'll find the biggest pan they have and do it. Notice this pan above has little handles on the side, where the one before has the longer single type handle. This is a big pan/pot. It has to hold 2 gallons, as big and deep as it is. I obviously timed it badly here. I stood up and couldn't see the blinking light on the camera next to the lens. I had to move over some first. I was amazed at the size of cloud 2 gallons of boiling water makes. I get back to the camera and it's still floating up in the air to the south, taller than a house.

Woohoo! I made sure to throw it much sooner this time, since the cloud would be in the air fairly long anyway. It'd just be hard to throw it too soon, since the cloud would grow so big. It took some time between each of these as I'd have to bring another huge pot to boil. Throwing it north, into the breeze wasn't too scary since the vapor didn't seem threatening. I just had to make sure not to fling the water towards my face at all. It gets a bit tricky trying to really heave 2 gallons or so into the air. I was sort of pissed I couldn't get several frames per throw. The only reason I got 3 frames on the first one on here is because it was on bracket mode and I didn't realize it when I pushed the cable release, holding it down firing all three off. I didn't see any way to get the self timer mode to fire 3 consecutive shots off. Since I was alone there just was no way to do it....at least not on throws like this that require both hands. So I was stuck with one frame each pot.

Number 3 with the big big pot! I got the timing a little better, but I'm wasting some of the frame...the left side. On the far right/north you can see the water falling down toward the driveway. I wanted to do it that way as it would give the water more time in the air. This cloud would grow even more and float off to the left/south and up into the air. I'd already spent enough time playing with this, and didn't want to wait on another big pot to boil, but I wanted one more try to fill more of the frame(in other words toss it left from the right side, and time it so the cloud has fully grown...none on here do justice to how big it gets with this much water). So I thought, ok one last one. I should have just stopped, lol. It's that "one more" that always gets you. I soon remembered why it was framed in the middle like this. If I got further to the left here I couldn't see the timer light blinking, since the lens would get in the way. So my only option was to move the frame left, stand on the far right side, and throw the next pot south/left.

So here I am on my final try, throwing left this time. This was the first and only one I threw left with the big pot. I'm not sure what I did different, but this throw sucked in a hurry! The water isn't just hot, it's boiling hot. As soon as I heave it out, I feel a wave of it go right down in my left glove.

Crop from picture above. The glove is just landing, as I quickly flung it off of my hand. I'm clinching my left hand as I think to myself,......."oh crap". It only briefly stung a hair. It was not severe pain at all. Then I felt no pain. For about the first 1 to 2 minutes there was no pain.

After the 1 to 2 minutes went by, the pain kicked in bad. I kept running cool water on it and it kept burning. If I left it out of the water it quickly turned into severe pain. It would go in waves of about a minute gap. It'd be just bad pain for a bit, then it would really freaking hurt and burn to where you couldn't stand it. Then it'd go back...then it'd come back....back and forth. I finally just got a pan and left it in the water. After awhile it was content if it was in there. If I took it out it would quickly hurt again.

I've never burned anything that bad before. I've bumped my hand into a hot pan a time or two, enough to give a small blister, but nothing over a larger area like this. I can't even begin to imagine what severe burn victims go through. Next time I get gung ho about throwing large pans of boiling water, I'm taping the gloves closed and wearing some kind of facial protection. I still don't get how the water went that direction. It had to have sloshed wrong before I went to throw it. It amazes me how little pain at first can be followed by such intense pain.

4 days later. I thought it was nearly finished healing, till I barely bumped it. Guess the whole layer of skin needs to come off and heal that layer underneath yet.