Wednesday, March 31, 2010

springish schizophrenia

The ancient Hebrews stoned false prophets, but happily for me, stoning has been out of fashion in Ontario for a few millennia or more. My March 6 prophecy of a gigantic dump of snow at the end of the month proved false. Unless you consider an inch of wet, sloppy white stuff last Saturday a gigantic dump.

In my defense, spring weather in Upsala is like a schizophrenic psychopath. Mother Nature's spring personality flip-flops so wildly that even Carl Jung would be hard pressed to make an accurate analysis. I guess my earlier success as a weather prophet went to my head. Besides, I don't recall ever having a snowless Easter.

This year, not only will Easter be snowless, but the two weeks prior were mostly snowless as well. MNR is gearing up for a busy wildfire season. Firefighters in the Maritimes have been fighting wildfires for a couple weeks already, but thanks to Mother Nature's reluctance to take her meds, we've had generous amounts of rain and wet flurries mixed with the unseasonably warm weather, which helps keep the trucks in the hall. I thought I detected a hint of smoke in the breeze yesterday evening, but it might have been just my edgy, under-adrenalized firefighter mind playing tricks on me. It's been a very slow winter.

Wildfire is one area that we can expect to get help . . . and we aren't shy about asking for water bombers and crews upon occasion. It takes them up to an hour to get here, which isn't bad considering the distance and logistics involved. It's still a nail-biting eternity when you're out-gunned by a fast-moving bush fire.

Wildfire season is usually worst before "green up," which is when the dead, dry grass and leaves from last year give way to new growth. If Spring doesn't see her psychiatrist soon, we could have the whole gamut of snow, rain, and wildfire-dry before green up arrives.

Speaking of meds, they've invented a pill with an antenna that sends a signal to help patients keep to their pill taking schedule. It hasn't been tested on humans yet, but if they could track down Mother Nature . . .


I've been educating you on our fair hamlet of Upsala over the last six posts, whether you realize it or not. Here is a synopsis:

  1. Upsala Fire Dept covers 100 km of the TransCanada Highway (which ruins our response time track record).
  2. Spring came a month early this year, but I'm still not convinced it isn't just a visit. More snow may be around the corner.
  3. Upsala is about 5 hours from the longitudinal centre of Canada, and an hour and a half from Lake Superior.
  4. Upsala Fire Dept has its own Facebook group that you can join (some of you already have).
  5. We have a 900 gallon pumper, a Crane Carrier tanker, and a Grumman stepvan rescue vehicle. Not bad for a village of 180 people.
  6. Help is far away.
  7. There is (almost) always still snow on the ground on Easter


Happy 50th birthday to the photocopier. There were consultants in those days that predicted the machine would have "no future in the office-copying market." If there had been any ancient Hebrews around in 1960, the stones would have flown for sure.

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