Secret Codes and Bloody Toes

Jack and I worked on Cub Scout stuff tonight. One of the elective activities was on secret codes. They had two separate codes – one in which all the letters corresponded with numbers and another with the alphabet written backward. The activity had examples and then a code for him to break using each of the codes breaking solutions.

As Jack started doing the activites, he said, “This is SO COOL!” (His eyes were also bugged right out of his head.)

I was surprised that Jack was not aware such a thing could exist. Here is what I can see happening:  he writes a story using the code but forgets to make the solution FIRST. In other words, he selects a jumbled mass of letters, then has to work backwards to make it work.

I guess time will tell!

I’ve been working over the last, oh, three weeks on breaking another, less fun code at my house. I’ve actually been trying to break this code for years and just when I think I’ve got the highest frequency of letters figured out, it becomes glaringly apparant that I am way left of center. So lately the code has become magnified in importance which is indirectly correlated to my ability to read the code.

You know when you hurt yourself, REALLY hurt yourself, and the only way you know how bad you’ve hurt yourself is the lack of immediate pain. You want to think that you got lucky and it isn’t going to really hurt, but you know it is going to be excrutiating. Breaking this code is beginning to feel like that – futile to avoid the onslaught of mind-numbing pain shooting up from your point of injury.

Once my cat Earl was on bedrest for 4 weeks because of a slipped disk in his back. (Yes, such things can happen!) We had to keep him in isolation in a room with nothing higher than a few inches so his back could heal. At night, I would go in and lay with him for awhile before I went to bed. One night I went into the dark room and forgot the metal bedframe was on the floor. I rammed my foot into it and nearly broke my big toe. In the pitch black darkness of the room I thought I didn’t hurt myself that bad since I couldn’t feel any pain. I hobbled over to the lightswitch and flipped it to see blood everywhere. The pain was immediate, intense and overpowering as soon as I saw it. Of course, I was alone at home at night in Fairbanks during the winter. I couldn’t drive, so I called a nurse I knew who told me what to do. In the morning, I went to the hospital.

So, my ability to break this code is sort of turning out the same way except for the nurse and the hospital. Mainly it is the immediate, intense and overpowering pain.


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