This time I was far better prepared. We loaded up a cooler, got a "slice" of dry ice from a local Arco that was selling it (only 10 bucks!), and began the journey.
The first stop was the Concord Old Navy. Apparently not ALL the stores have this department, so it had to be this specific store. A lot of good it did, as it turned out they had finished the clearance the week before. (DENIED!).
Oh well, we had a consolation prize. We got to the Carvel with no problem, bought a soft-serve cone for each of us, and picked up a set each of 6 chocolate and vanilla sandwiches.
The drive back was uneventful until we were on the 242 bypass from 4 to 680. Roni spotted the motorcycle, I was the one who saw the human being lying in the freeway.
Some asshole in a compact pickup had hit and run a motorcyclist about 20 seconds earlier or less. The truck had been doing the high speed weave and had cut it about 6 inches too short when threading between a woman (who, as it turned out, was on her way to work at the Hayward Kaiser ER) and the bike. The guy had been kicked from the bike, which wound up a good 100 feet further down.
I pulled to the shoulder and jumped out to help. No, I didn't stop to think about details like the moderately heavy oncoming traffic, or wether or not I could do any good in the situation. It's that impulse control thing, you know?
So, the guy's name was Mike -- which took a few minutes to determine... the poor guy was in shock. A nurse had pulled over to join the ER worker, and they concurred with my call to grab a blanket I had stashed in the back of the Saturn (shock can make you cold even in triple digits, folks) and kept the guy from trying to get up. Someone in a Vanagon had stopped in the lane behind us and was flashing his hazards, a tow truck guy working a stall about a quarter mile up had come running back with an assistant to get the bike out of the number 1 lane and to lay down flares -- in short, an impressive display of selflessness all the way around.
He was conscious, obviously, but you could tell he just wanted to fall over or jump up, neither of which was a good idea. Someone else brought water from yet another vehicle, but we told them that wasn't such a good idea because of the head injury.
Again, impressive response times from CHP and the paramedics, who got there within five minutes. The CHP officer who first got there helped us past the two lanes of traffic so we could get back to our cars, and I even got our blanket back. I think he's going to be okay, though his wife probably bitch slapped him (he wouldn't tell us her number, was afraid "she would only worry". Dumbass... I can already SEE that conversation).
We got home without any further excitement and my ice cream was still as solid as when it came from the Carvel freezer. The only question was what to do with the mostly intact slice of air called dry ice we still had.
First, I made some fog. You know, get a pan of water and drop the ice in. Fun!
Then Roni got the brilliant idea of making soda out of Tang. The effect of putting dry ice into the pitcher in question was so cool, I couldn't help getting a few pics of it, one of which is ready to share right now:
Oh, and I finished Half Blood Prince. More on that later - right now Roni and I are going to see "March of the Penguins" with penguin_goddess, gtpooh and her lovely daughter Jenny.