Sunday, April 26, 2009

Weather. You can't live with it and you can't live without it. I've lived here for most of the past thirty-some years, and you'd think I'd be resigned to the fact that it can snow right up to the summer solstice if it wants to. But some years on April 26 it's sunny and warm. Well, at least one year it was anyway. And that seemed like enough to set a precedent.

You don't think one sunny day is enough to set a precedent? Look at it this way. If a fire department gets sued, and some lawyer convinces a judge that the crew should have wiped the soot off their boots before going in to put out the fire, the next time Upsala firefighters track soot on a rug, the judge will say something like, "In the case of Boondocks Fire Department vs J.C. Bonehead, the said fire department paid $100,000 in compensation for drycleaning charges, punitive damages and emotional trauma. Therefore, Upsala must pay as well." He wouldn't say it quite like that, but you get the idea. That's called "precedent" in the world of judges and lawyers, and it only takes one yahoo to set it. But I guess it doesn't work that way with the weather. So, Upsalanians, get used to it. It can be sunny today and snowy through the rest of April, May, and June if it wants. And there isn't a thing we can do about it. But that doesn't apply to July and August. There will be absolutely no snow permitted in those months. We have to draw the line somewhere. If you want to see some funny cartoons about lawyers, click here.

We got called out on the classic wild goose chase this evening. A pick-up truck on it's roof with a least one person hurt. We booted down the highway looking for the crash, and nearly got to our boundary when we met the ambulance coming back. We called our dispatcher and found we were cancelled. Ambulance told us later that they heard that the people had gotten out and had started a camp fire to keep warm while they waited for help. But there was no pick up truck, no campfire, and no people. Further investigation revealed that the call wasn't anywhere near our area. Should have known, I guess. Come to think of it, I did see a wild goose fly over earlier. Must have been an omen.

It reminds me of another wild goose chase that I refused to go on. That's right, refused. We're allowed to do that in some cases. Here's the story. It was about this time of year, or a little earlier, and we were paged to a forest fire in English River. We do forest fires sometimes, and we go to English River sometimes, but this time there was a foot of snow on the ground. I called the dispatcher and suggested they send the police to check it out. The cops get paid to chase wild geese at midnight. I found out the next day that the police found a vehicle broken down on the side of the road, and the driver sitting by a campfire he'd built to keep warm. Someone had driven by, seen the flames and used their trusty cell phone to call in the "forest fire." I'm all about technology and Good Samaritans, but the Samaritans would be even better if they would stop and take an old fashioned look to make sure they really do need to dial 911. But that's asking a lot, I know. They might get snow in their shoes - unless they're driving through in July or August.

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