Sunday, March 17, 2013

wee update: a mild cold or mild smoke inhalation

I either have a cold or a mild case of smoke inhalation. A couple of days ago, I started a batch of green coffee beans in a roaster in the basement. Maybe ten minutes later, I smelled smoke in the upper floor—why, yes, the batteries were out of the smoke detectors, which is stupid—and I ran down into the basement, which was full of smoke. Flames were coming from the beans. I glanced at the cord to the roaster, didn't see any damage, and unplugged it.

But I couldn't get the basement window open. The storm window was jammed, and the rest of the basement windows were caulked up by the previous owner--I only opened one this year. So I ran upstairs to breathe, then ran down to try again. The next time I did that, Emma gave me a bandanna soaked in water. I'm not sure how many times I ran up and down before I finally managed to get the jammed window open.

I also don't know why I didn't carry the roaster out of the house as soon as I realized the window was a problem. Maybe because I didn't think it would take so long to get the window open. After the third or fourth try, I verified that the frame of the roaster was cool enough to carry, got it outside, then went back to work on the window, which finally opened when I took a prybar to it.

That evening, I went to my dance class and felt fine. The next morning, my throat was scratchy. I've been a bit snuffly since. After reading about mild smoke inhalation, I'm withholding judgment on whether it's a cold or the smoke. For all I know, the answer is "both".

Have skipped the weekend dance classes. *Sad.*

tl;dr: I inhaled a lot of coffee smoke. Our house smells like cigarettes, alas.

12 comments:

  1. Please change the batteries in your smoke detector. Thx, yr worried friend

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  2. I for one am grateful that the outcome wasn't anything worse. Take care...

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    1. Thanks!

      Still dunno which it is, but I'm monitoring....

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  3. Arrghh! I hate it when the common sense solution occurs to me after the damage is done.
    Hang in there...

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    1. Thank you. L'espirt d'escalier applies to my deeds as well as my words too damn often.

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  4. Ack, I'm glad nothing really valuable burned right up.

    If burning coffee smells like cigarettes, that is very sad indeed.

    I hardly know whether to hope it's smoke inhalation, or a cold. I suppose the former would be over sooner and be missing various non-respiratory annoyances.

    P.

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    1. Occasional coughing and sniffling. Maybe a slight fever, but we haven't bothered to check. A tiredness that I may be getting over. It's at three days now, so the jury isn't bothering to come in. To screw up the diagnosis, I took a lot of zinc on the first day--I'm hoping this will all end soon with no clear notion of what it was.

      And, yeah, a house that smelled of coffee would be Emma's heaven--assuming the actual coffee was available.

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  5. There are home-roasting machines for coffee beans? What brand was it, so I know not to buy one?

    You need this t-shirt: http://www.thewirelesscatalog.com/graphics/products/small/VN3561.gif

    I got that t-shirt for xmas. Even more effective when your arm is in a sling like mine still was the first time I wore it.

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    1. Good shirt!

      The roaster was a Nesco with an augur:

      http://www.nesco.com/products/Kitchen-Appliances/Coffee-Preparation-Roasting-Grinding-and-Brewing/Coffee-Bean-Roaster-Pro-Series/session_38a092adae45/

      That design can jam. If we get another, we'll spend the money on one with a turning drum.

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  6. Yikes! Hope you get better soon!

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    1. Thanks! It's not gone, but it's better, whatever it is.

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