doh! That sucks David. I went to Dick's Restaurant Supply in bellevue (a drive for you) and got a 12-14" probe thermometer for $16. It clips onto the side of my kettle and works great. no worries about using it during the boil either.
In the spirit of the thread, I had my first mishap recently. I didn't mix up my bottling sugar solution after pouring it into the carboy prior to bottling, (protip, bottling from a carboy is a pain in the ass.) No bottle bombs yet (its been 11 days so far, tick tick tick) but the cases are in a spare shower with the curtain shut.