Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Siren Call

This is me sounding off, so if you don't want to read an indignant rant, you might want to skip this post.

Up the highway from here, the traffic can get rather thick.  At some of the intersections, the main road has a green light for anywhere from 2-5 minutes (yes, really, i've timed them up to five minutes), and the side road from 15-90 seconds, depending on the time of day (again, yes, as little as 15 seconds).

On those side roads, at high traffic times of day, it can take several light cycles to get through, and it gets very frustrating.  People get testy.

People also ignore ambulance sirens because they don't want to miss their green light, and it makes me furious.

Yesterday i was pumping gas at a corner that is notorious for taking a long time to get through.  There is even a red light camera there because there were so many accidents from people running the light.  Several ambulances and police cars were trying to get through, and the vehicles in front of them tried to clear out and couldn't, as the cross traffic would not stop.  No amount of horn honking, waving, light flashing, and sirens wailing would get them to stop.

What is up with this?  When i learned to drive, the one inviolable rule was that you let the ambulance or fire truck or police car through no matter what, and as fast as you could.  A few times i've had to miss a green light or run off the road to get out of the way, and i've done it gladly.  The last thing i want on my conscience is that i blocked an emergency vehicle and someone was injured or died as a result.  (No, i probably wouldn't be able to know that for certain, but i have a vivid imagination and i know it can and does happen that the first responders just don't get there in time no matter how hard they try.  No way i'm going to be part of the reason they don't get there in time.)

Anyway, i'm just angry on behalf of the first responders.  They deserve more respect than what they get.  And if you miss a green light to let them through, you can wait a few more minutes, it won't kill you, but it might kill someone else.

Today is:

Advocate's Day -- India

Christmas on the River -- Demopolis, AL, US (celebrations Southern style, including a Barbecue Cook-off; through Saturday)

Clerc-Gallaudet Week begins -- celebrating the pioneers in education for the deaf

Day of Remembrance for Bogatir (Great hero) Svatogor -- Asatru/Pagan Slavic Calendar

Fairy and Goblin Taunt-and-Tease Saturnalia -- Fairy Calendar

Festival for Bona Dea -- Ancient Roman Calendar (goddess of chastity, fecundity, the earth, and fertility; a women's festival)

Festival for Serket/Selket -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar (scorpion goddess, who healed from their sting; date approximate)

Holiday Ale Festival -- Portland, OR, US (beer, outdoors, in the cold, in December, but it is seriously good beer and worth it; through Sunday)

International Day of Persons with Disabilities -- UN

International Day of the Basque Language

Make a Gift Day -- internet generated, and go ahead, 'tis the season

National Apple Pie Day

National Ice Cream Box Day -- internet generated, for those who love ice cream that comes in the rectangular box, and being the first to dig in

National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day -- be grateful you have one

Pompaia -- Ancient Greek Calendar (procession dedicated to Zeus; date approximate)

Reinvigorate Your Brain by Reading Something Day -- internet generated, and good to do every day, don't you think?

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting -- NY, NY, US

Special Kids Day -- a day to make sure special needs kids get to visit Santa with whatever accommodations they require

St. Francis Xavier's Day (Patron of African missions, foreign missions, missionaries, navigators, parish missions, Agartala, India; Ahmedabad, India; Alexandria, LA; ) related observance
     San Francisco Javier -- Navarre, Spain (special observances)

Takata no Inoko -- Sakurai, Japan (offerings for peace and good harvests)

Telescope Day -- marking its invention by Galileo in 1621

Anniversary Today:

Illinois becomes the 21st US State, 1818

Birthdays Today:

Alicia Sacramone, 1987
Amanda Seyfried, 1985
Bruno Campos, 1974
Holly Marie Combs, 1973
Bucky Lasek, 1972
Brendan Fraser, 1968
Katarina Witt, 1965
Daryl Hannah, 1961
Julianne Moore, 1961
Julianne Moore, 1960
Rick Ravon Mears, 1951
Ozzy Osbourne, 1948
Jaye P. Morgan, 1932
Jean-Luc Godard, 1930
Andy Williams, 1927
Ferlin Husky, 1927
John Backus, 1924
Nino Rota, 1911
Carlos Montoya, 1903
Joseph Conrad, 1857
Charles Alfred Pillsbury, 1842
Gilbert Charles Stuart, 1755

Debuting/Premiering Today:

"Camelot"(Musical), 1960
"Troilus and Cressida"(Opera), 1954
"A Streetcar Names Desire"(Play), 1947
Alka-Seltzer, 1931

Today in History:

Sir Thomas Herriot introduces potatoes to England, 1586
In an uprising over mining licenses, which came to be called the rebellion at the Eureka Stockade, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in what many claim to be the birth of Australian democracy, 1854
The trial of Jefferson Davis starts with the first blacks on a US trial jury, 1868
Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah, Israel, 1878
The Jovian moon Himalia is discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine, 1904
Neon lights make their public debut at the Paris Auto Show, 1910
The Quebec Bridge, after almost 20 years of planning and construction, opens, 1917
The first successful Technicolor movie, "Tall of the Sea," premiers in NYC, 1922
Chinese refugee ship "Kiangya" explodes in E China Sea, killing 1,100, 1948
Paul Harvey begins his national radio broadcast, 1950
At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carries out the first heart transplant on a human, 1967
Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter, 1973
In one of the worst industrial disasters ever, a methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills thousands and injures hundreds of thousands, 1984
In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries, not including the US, Russia, or China, sign The Ottawa treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines, 1997
XCOR Aerospace makes first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California, 2005
The Nissan Leaf, one of the first mass marketed electric cars, is launched, 2010


  1. amen!!! people need to think of their OWN loved ones in that ambulance - or waiting for one - and MOVE out of the way!

  2. You make an excellent point. I always move to the side of the road when I hear an ambulance.

  3. Hear,hear! I so agree and get very angry when people block me from moving to the side with an emergency vehicle trying to get by. I thought that you could get a ticket for blocking them? But I guess someone has to notice and the police have to see.

  4. You need to go to your city/county and complain about the timing on these lights. That's the underlying problem. They can be set differently. I do agree that first responders should be allowed to go wherever they need to go without clods being in their way because of a light. Nice rant.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  5. I agree with Sandee - nice rant. And I agree with you, too. I've recently been the patient in an ambulance and appreciated their efforts in getting me to hospital as quickly as possible. I simply cannot understand why anyone would do anything to inhibit the progress of an emergency vehicle. Beyond me.

  6. I agree. It's even more disrespectful to the guy who needs the ambulance.

  7. What is wrong with people? It's like people have gotten selfish and lack respect for their communities. Ugh. I guess the Christmas spirit hasn't come over them yet.

  8. Texwisgirl said it before me. Can we get an "AMEN" on this post? Amen!

    My brother has been in fd and an EMT for years. He said emergency vehicles have to approach intersections with caution if their light is red, and proceed if safe to do so.

    What I have read: In the state of Ohio, I am not positive if a driver not merging to an oncoming er vehicle when traffic has a green light, warrants a ticket or not. Besides, with that much traffic, which vehicle do you choose? I may be wrong.

  9. My son, who has worked in patrol cars say that this happens a lot. People do not seem to understand what to do and how important it is. Most often he sees cars simply stopping where they are, thinking that the police want to check him/her out for some reason. Then he often sees the realization hit them and they will eventually pull over, out of the way. It's frustrating and dangerous. Your situation sound particularly bothersome. With that many first responders trying to get through, you know something big was happening.