Friday, July 8, 2011

Random plant event: Cyclamen persicum

It looks like the whole Cyclamen experiment is going to be at least technically successful -- as you can see, all indications are that I'm going to have a rebloom at some point in the next few weeks. I suspect that the story would be different if I hadn't brought the plant downstairs and put it under the shop lights.

In other news, I found a short article in the Iowa City paper about the guy who fell from, and got smushed by, the telephone pole across the street; according to that, he was still alive as of last Sunday, but there were no details about his condition, or even a name. The pole is still lying in the yard across the street from us, and the blood stain is still visible (so I guess they didn't do as good a job washing the street as I'd thought).

One of the weirder aspects of the incident is that since Saturday, we've had a lot of people doing slow drives by our house. Wednesday afternoon, somebody stopped in front of our house, got out of his car, took several pictures of the stain, and then drove off. (I was watching from behind the Synadenium thicket in the living room window.)

I'm not sure how to process this. On the one hand, very little happens here, so it's a big deal when something does, and I can understand that. On the other, it's kind of ghoulish. And on the third hand, some of the people surely have good, occupational-type reasons for coming by. I mean, I'm assuming that someone's going to get sued over this sooner or later, plus the pole needs to be replaced, all that good stuff. So it's hard to be mad at people for driving by, but at the same time, I have this weird feeling that the scene should be private, that people are intruding, by slowing down to look at a spot on a public street. Not sure how to account for the feeling, but it's there anyway.

I did get a picture of the base of the post, not that anybody was clamoring to see.

I can't really tell anything about what happened from looking at this, though I suppose we can rule out beavers, axes, and chainsaws. The husband thinks rot, which is probably correct. (The only other option I can think of is termites or other insect attack, and I don't see any tunnels in there.) Which means that the responsible party would be whoever owns the pole, and I'm not sure who that would be. (City? Utility company? Landowner?)

Anyway. Figured I should add this, since it's more information than I had in Saturday's post, if not by much.


Liza said...

I think that feeling of intrusion is pretty common after an accident. I had a friend who was a firefighter, and she would get soooo mad at rubberneckers at the scene. I get why she felt like that, but since the firetruck has all those bells and whistles to attract attention, I told her she needed to get over it.

marcos said...

started to read your blog for the great passion you put in greenery, now what happens is that i was actually interested in the picture of the pole, i wanted to know about the poor guy and i'm wondering what iowa city looks like. your blog became one of my fav daily readings!

Paul said...

While you're probably right that some of those people may have had a 'legitimate' reason for being there, I would bet most were just being ghoulishly nosy. Unfortunately, things like this often bring out the sick/unwholesome side of humanity.

I disagree with Liza, those flashing lights/horns are there to attract attention, yes, but not to draw idiots TO the accident. It's to get all the drivers who are 'zoned out' to pay attention, get out of the way and stay out of the way. As a driver, I get irked with morons who insist on slowing down, holding up traffic, to satisfy their morbid curiosity.

While I have no doubt someone will get sued somewhere along the line, I really don't know what could have been done to prevent it. Whether or not there is a way to check the condition of such poles w/o digging them up I don't know. (And digging them up to check would be prohibitively costly I imagine not to mention how it could affect commerce with roads being blocked off for yet another reason.)

davelybob said...

Yeah, posting about this, while interesting, is probably not great for privacy reasons. I found that article a couple days ago (your initial post made me curious), and dang if it doesn't list the address of the incident. You outed your house. Crossing my fingers you don't have any stalkers...

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, no and yes and no.

No, that's not actually our street address in the article. Either the paper screwed up, or they went with the first address who called it in to 911.

Though yes, it would get you to the right block, and from there I've taken enough pictures of stuff outside that you could figure it out pretty easily (if seeing all the plants in the windows didn't clue you in immediately).

But no, I'd already essentially outed the address a year ago, because anybody who really wanted it could have tried to arrange a plant sale/trade with me and gotten it that way. It would have been a little more complicated than that, but a dedicated stalker could have figured it out.

CelticRose said...

Not to mention we know your name and what you look like from that newspaper article you did a while back.

Plus, back when you were still working at the garden center a dedicated stalker could have simply done the rounds of all the garden centers in the area.

There's really no way to protect oneself from a dedicated stalker, but it's not worth losing sleep over. When you think about it, how many people do you know who post everything on the internet and are still stalker-free? Being stalked isn't as common as it's made out to be.