Wednesday, February 24, 2010

of crazy sports and cops

I videoed enough footage of our school ski trip to keep you watching for a week or two, but since this is supposed to be a firefighting blog, I cut it down to four minutes. If you are a devoted parent, relative, or friend of one of the kids in the video, you will be riveted to your computer screen and begging for more by the time the video ends. Even if you aren't wearing rose coloured glasses, you might still enjoy the show if you like the Nutcracker. If you don't like the Nutcracker, you are out of luck, but hang in there, the video gets more exciting halfway through.

For the record, cameras don't do justice to the bigness of this country. Or the steepness of the hills. I lost my feet trying to inch down to a favourable location to shoot some clips, and turned into a human bobsleigh before I was able to dig in enough to halt my slide. A parachute would definitely have come in handy.

Speaking of crazy rides, Canada won gold and silver in the women's bobsleigh event yesterday. I don't think we own the podium as much as the powers-that-be prophesied, but we are doing a respectable job nonetheless.

And speaking of respectable jobs, Canada nailed Russia last night in hockey, much to the delight of my son and his buddies. I camped out in the bedroom editing my soon-to-be-world-famous video, but I knew about every goal that Canada scored. And so did the neighbours. And so did anyone within a kilometre radius of our house. If the Upsala fans didn't win a gold medal for enthusiasm, they sure came close.

The boys congratulated each other most of the way home for being Canadian and having shares in such an awesome hockey team. The only somber moment was when they realized they'd have to go back to watching the Leafs after the Olympics. Don't misunderstand - against all reason, they are dedicated Leafs fans . . . but it sure is nice for them to root for a team that wins more than occasionally.

If you don't understand the hype about hockey, you have to realize that in a place like Upsala, it's perfectly sane and normal to get excited about ice and pucks and skates and slap shots. There isn't a whole lot more to do here in February. Or March or January or December. Most of the boys' free time is spent slicing up the rink and perfecting their wrist shot. The day the ice melts is a sad day for the young and reckless.

And finally talking about firefighting, a Montecito, California battalion chief was arrested and handcuffed for blocking the highway at a vehicle collision response last week. This type of altercation is rare, and will stay that way I hope, but you gotta wonder what is going through a cop's mind sometimes. With smashed vehicles all over the road, unknown injuries, and a certain amount of chaos, firefighters need a safe place to work . . . which means claiming at least part of the highway. I have my own story about a disagreement with a cop (no, I didn't get handcuffed), but it will have to wait.

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